H&M Opens New Store & Continues Battle on Garment Waste

About a week ago I attended the grand opening for a new H&M store at the Fashion Fair mall in Fresno, Ca. This is the brand’s second store in the area. I think this new H&M store will be a great anchor for this mall. Ever since Foreign Exchange went out of business, this particular mall has only really had fast-fashion competitor Forever 21.

I arrived an hour earlier than the official grand opening time. There were about 80 people in line ahead of me when I arrived. As the last hour passed the line eventually wrapped around the outside wall of the mall. It was very festive and the H&M workers seemed excited to be participating in the opening event. I was lucky enough to win a $25 credit from one of the promotional scratchers they had given out.

While everyone was waiting in line planning what they might use their scratcher prizes for when they entered the store, a lady walked by the line with a clothing recycle bin.

In the photo you can see a man tying off a bag that had been filled with garments to be recycled. This happened several times. I was glad to see that H&M was inspiring its customers to recycle their unwanted garments. This kind of action is paramount since the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, after oil.

This recycling theme continued inside the store. At the cash registers a large banner read, “Rewear, Reuse, Recycle” and offered discounts to customers that bring in their unwanted garments to be recycled.

The store itself looked just as nice as you would expect from one that has never been shopped in. Hangers were loaded with fall ready pieces and layer-able garments.

The energy of the workers, the DJ on site, and the opening offers had the store packed to the brim by the time I was making my purchase. Just like that we welcomed a new fast-fashion mega store to Fresno. I am very pleased to see that H&M is focusing on and directing the attention of its customers to garment waste and recycling. I hope to see this more from similar brands in the future.

Don’t forget to recycle some of your unwanted clothes! To learn more about what H&M is doing about garment waste, click here.

-Roberto

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