A power plant located on the outskirts of Stockholm is reducing its environmental footprint by burning H&M clothes. In replacement of traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil, the Swedish plant will use wood and trash alongside discarded H&M merchandise to power their plant.
Jen Neren, head of fuel supplies for the factory, says that for them, “it’s burnable material.” With hopes of completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels in their plants, Neren states that, “Our goal is to use only renewable and recycled fuels.”
In the past year, the plant has burned around 15 tons of H&M merchandise, along with 400,000 tons of trash. By 2020, the plant, which powers 150,000 homes, aims to completely render fossil fuels useless.
Sweden has long embraced an eco-conscious mindset, priding themselves on their near emission-free power system, all made possible by hydro, nuclear, and wind plants. The lead of communication for H&M Sweden, Johanna Dahl, says, “H&M does not burn any clothes that are safe to use. However, it is our legal obligation to make sure that clothes that contain mold or do not comply with our strict restriction on chemicals are destroyed.”
As the dominance of fast fashion has steadily risen, so has the fashion industry’s acutely devastating impact on the environment. Despite their sustainable and eco-conscious initiatives, the fashion powerhouses still contribute largely to the ruination of the environment and depletion of natural resources. H&M, one of the largest fast fashion retailers in the world, also owns and operates H&M Home, COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, and ARKET, all of which follow the sustainability standards set by H&M.
Last Tuesday, the last shipment of coal to be used by the plant was received, containing enough materials to last until 2020. With environmental strides such as these, we come closer to a brighter, greener future for our planet.