Climate warning
Image of H&M Group

H&M Group

Climate warning

H&M promises to recycle clothes, dumps them in Africa

A new "shocking" investigation by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reveals H&M's (and fast fashion) dirty secret. Instead of recycling, clothes collected by H&M in their shops are ending up in massive landfills on West African beaches. Hidden tracking devices exposed the truth.
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H&M, has been caught red-handed as Aftonbladet's examination of H&M's clothing collection initiative, part of their sustainability goals, exposed a disturbing truth. Ten garments were dropped off for recycling at different H&M stores, each fitted with "airtags" to trace their destination... you won't believe what happens next 🙀
Many of these clothes were traced to dumping sites in Global South countries. The exportation of European clothes to these nations is causing significant environmental harm and jeopardising local industries. The investigation reveals that the garments, purchased from Stockholm's second-hand stores in excellent condition, were resold to intermediaries who sort and export second-hand clothes.
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H&M claims that the clothes should primarily be resold in second-hand stores and, if not, recycled for new garments or other products. However, one item, an apparently unused winter jacket, was tracked to a clothing importer in Cotonou, Benin, Africa. Its subsequent whereabouts remain unknown, possibly illegally exported to Nigeria or sold in a nearby clothing market. Sellers there testify that half of the imported European clothes are discarded due to damage or being unsuitable for the local climate.
The investigation further reveals H&M clothes being exported to Ghana, where an astonishing 800 million second-hand garments are imported annually. At least two-thirds of these clothes come from Europe, according to The Or Foundation, an organization combating clothing dumping. Local market sellers in Ghana also admit to discarding nearly half of the clothes they receive. The three recycling companies to which H&M forwarded clothes have shipped over 5,711 bales of clothing this year alone, equating to more than a million garments.

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Dumped clothes amass into mountains of waste on beaches and in lakes, destroying the environment and endangering wildlife.
One more investigation that shows the dark sides of fast fashion, raising concerns about the sincerity of companies' sustainability claims. The urgent need for greater transparency and accountability in the industry cannot be overstated. It's time to hold corporations accountable for their actions and demand genuine commitment to a sustainable future.




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17 more agrees trigger social media ads

  • Zsófia S..

    19 w

    I'm glad I've stopped buying their waste a long time ago and didn't support this.

    • zelda ninga

      51 w

      So this means that not every company that says they are recycling means they are doing that. African Union should table this issue or else our environment will continue to suffer.

      2
      • monicah mbesu

        52 w

        They should be ashamed of there behavior. Who even does that

        3
        • Joyce Waturu

          52 w

          Terming this as insanity of the highest magnitude is an understatement.H&M ought to style up and stop stacking Africa with it's filth.They should otherwise rethink strategies that could tame overproduction.

          4
          • We Don't Have Time

            52 w

            Dear Sarah Chabane Thank you for getting your climate warning to level 2! We have reached out to H & M Hennes & Mauritz and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! /Ford We Don't Have Time

            3
            • Markus Lutteman

              53 w

              It seems the whole system is broken. People in the rich countries are simply throwing away to much clothes (after having worn them on average 7 times) that there is no way for the second-hand markets to handle these growing mountains of textiles. Time to start re-thinking our consumer habits. Great investigative reporting by @Aftonbladet.

              6
              • ance Star

                53 w

                Bad move.. measures to be upholded as fast as possible

                4
                • Annett Michuki..

                  53 w

                  our leaders should stand firm against this

                  3
                  • Grace Njeri

                    53 w

                    This should be stopped,we are already facing huge environmental waste crisis.

                    5
                    • Munene Mugambi

                      53 w

                      This is criminal and should be treated as such

                      7
                      • Tabitha Kimani

                        53 w

                        Green washing at its best. @ Aftonbladet continue exposing this evil organisation.

                        5
                        • Lucinda Ramsay

                          53 w

                          Really shocked! Will never shop H&M again and will advise friends and family of this scandal

                          5
                          • Phylis Akinyi

                            53 w

                            It is sickening to read this. They should be coming up with ideas to conserve the environment and not dumping and burning the garments keeping in mind that the fumes produced from burning the clothes is harmful to both the environment and human health.

                            6
                            • Marine Stephan

                              53 w

                              This is revolting and disgusting! Really shows the idea of "if you can't see it in Europe, it doesn't exist"... European firms need to stop using Africa as their landfill!!! Let's hope the new EU regulation on this topic will fix this issue

                              16
                              • Peter Kamau

                                53 w

                                Oh No!I condemn this sort of aggregated environmental evil as well as disregard for Africa. Grateful for @Aftonbladet for unearthing this dirty secret.

                                14
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