SWEDEN: H&M to increase organic cotton usage

STOCKHOLM: Hennes & Mauritz has revealed that it has already exceeded its target of 100 tonnes of organic cotton for 2007.  The second largest retailer by sales, H&M first started using organic cotton in 2004 where a 5% blend of the fibre was used in almost all baby and children’s garments from Turkey, but the garments did not carry a special label.

In 2004 the company used 5 tonnes of organic cotton, a tiny fraction of its complete cotton use but this quantity was upped to 50 tonnes in 2005 when it launched a collection with designer Stella McCartney who insisted that at least one shirt in the range was made of 100% organic cotton.

Last year H&M used 30 tonnes of organic cotton and by June 2007 had incorporated 110 tonnes of the fibre into its collections. “This will rise to 160 tonnes of fibre by the beginning of August 2007,” said Hulya Sevindik of H&M. He said that H&M has taken the decision to have a minimum of 95% organic cotton in all fabrics in its organic programme.

However, she pointed out that the vast majority of its cotton was sourced from conventional cotton farms but said the retailer was also working with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to reduce the environmental impact of growing cotton.

At a recent Organic Exchange meeting in Istanbul, during the presentation, H&M also noted that there are still limitations when it comes to sourcing organic cotton – especially in terms of the finer yarn counts. He said 20/1 – 40/1 Ne yarn counts are easy to find with some spinners producing 50/1 Ne. However, 60/1 count organic cotton yarns are still in the development stages.

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Added: August 16, 2007 Source: Agencies
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