H&M’s organic line and the Wal-Mart perspective
Eurochic retailer H&M is launching an earth-friendly spring Garden Collection, H&M shopper Joe Romm reports. No, scratch that, this is from thegreengirls.com. The new line will include recycled polyester, organic cotton, and organic linen. Presumably the expected life of these clothes won’t be any longer than typical H&M items, which aren’t exactly known for their durability.
I think you can look at this the same way you look at Wal-Mart’s recent announcement that it was asking suppliers to reduce the carbon impact of their factory-produced tchotchkes. If we’re going to have cheap, mass-produced clothing, furniture, salad-shooters, etc., that aren’t made to last, it’s good to make them with sustainable materials and practices. And we’re probably going to have Wal-Marts and H&Ms for the foreseeable future, so it makes sense to prod and push and encourage them toward better practices, as the Environmental Defense Fund does.
At the same time, to act as though we’re stuck in a throwaway, big-box world is a colossal failure of imagination. We can do better. As Stacy Mitchell argues in a smart piece, when you zoom out a bit, Wal-Mart’s (and H&M’s) track record just isn’t so hot.
Pricier but well-made clothes from a local retailer are probably the responsible thing to wear. And … now I’m nagging. This is why I don’t write about clothes.
Ashley Braun says it’s important to include this video: