Contributing to a More Sustainable Way of Doing Fashion: Q&A with Monki

This year, Monki (a brand of BCI Member Hennes & Mauritz Group) achieved its goal to sustainably source 100% of its cotton. The retailer’s longer-term goalis to source only recycled or other more sustainable materials by 2030.We caught up with Irene Haglund, Sustainability Manager, to talk about their achievement and what is next for the brand.

 

Monki has achieved its goal to sustainably source 100% of its cotton. Tell us about your journey and your sustainable cotton portfolio.

From using organic cotton, to partnering with organisations like the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), to adhering to our ’no-go’ material list, we are making conscious decisions to help minimise any environmental impact our materials have on the world. With milestones such as our 100% organic denim range launched in summer 2016 to our current goal of100%sustainably sourced cotton, we continuously strive to make the world a kinder place and believe that sustainability is a large part of this.

 

How have you worked withBCIto communicate Monki’s commitments to Better Cotton in a way that maintains Monki’s tone of voice and resonates with your customers?

BCI has been an essential partner in helping us to communicate our achievement of 100% sustainably sourced cotton. The fun, friendly, brave and empowering ways of our communication together withBCI’s specialist role in sustainability and their deep knowledge of the subject have together resulted in accessible and informative communication that speaks to our customer and community.

 

What response have your sustainable cotton communications received?

We saw positive engagement and support from our own community in the Monki social media channels as well as keen interest in the topic from international media outlets.It is a great feeling being able to present concrete steps and achievements towards a kinder future for all and the response we receive shows us that we are on the right path.We know thatour customers want something more than just products, and we work actively to have an honest dialogue, to listen and to improve. We love feedback, positive or negative, because this means that our community is committed, engaged and wants to be a part of Monki.

 

Now that you’ve achieved your 100% goal with regards to sustainable cotton sourcing, what is next for Monki?

Our aim is to source recycled or other more sustainable materials only, by 2030. In the long run it’s a step towards contributing to a more sustainable way of doing fashion. Through various initiatives, such as only using 100% organic cotton on all denim collections, sustainably sourced cotton in all products, and offering garment and textile recycling in all stores and offices, Monki is working towardsbecoming climate positive throughout our entire value chain by 2040.We are continuously re-analysing and adjusting ways to make a difference and to achieve a circular production model. Design,materials, production, garment care and the lifecycle of garments are just a part of this. Other projects include LED lighting in all new stores, reducing non-commercial goods, and paper bags replacing plastic bags.

 

Visit Monki Cares to find out more about Monki’s sustainability initiatives.

 

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H&M ‘making sustainability fashionable’

BCI Pioneer Member, H&M, have released their latest sustainability report for 2014. Highlights of the report include:

  • Almosttripling their procurement of more sustainable cotton in three years.
  • 2% of the cotton they use being certified Better Cotton, Organic or Recycled.
  • Adding fabric and yarn suppliers to their supply base, taking a major step forwards increating supply chain transparency.
  • More sustainable materials now representing 14% of products’ total material use.

The report shows H&M’s dedication to finding more sustainable solutions for the fashion industry. It details their progress to date on a journey towards “making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.’

The report features and interview with H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson, in which he talks about the transparency and partnerships necessary to drive real change in creating a more sustainable company for the long-term.

As a BCI Pioneer member, H&M have committed to sourcing all of their cotton from “more sustainable sources’ (including Better Cotton, Organic and Recycled) by 2020. To read the online report, including a highlights video and downloadable pdf, click here.

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Better Cotton Pioneer H&M visit Better Cotton farms in Gujurat, India

Representatives from BCI Pioneer Member, H&M, paid a visit to Better Cotton farms in Gujurat, India, earlier this month. Head of Sustainability, Helena Helmersson, Harsha Vardhan (Environment Responsible – Global Production) and Gagan Kapur (Materials Manager), saw first-hand cotton farmers taking part in BCI Learning Groups, witnessing the difference that Better Cotton is making to the lives of those who live in the region. As part of the visit, H&M also took the opportunity to visit BCI Spinning Mill Member, Omaxe Cotspin, an opportunity to see how Better Cotton travels through the supply chain, making its way from field to store.

”BCI has been a key part of our sustainability strategy since being a part of founding the initiative in 2005. Now, we are committed to sourcing more and more Better Cotton to produce our products, but also importantly to show others in our role as Pioneer members that more sustainable cotton production is possible. These farmers here in India are part of a global movement to make this a reality for brands and retailers all over the world.”
Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability, H&M

In 2013, BCI produced 905,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton, 18% of which was produced by smallholder farmers in India. With the support of Pioneer members such as H&M, last year BCI were able to reach 146,000 Farmers in India alone – farmers who are now producing cotton that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future.

H&M are an industry leader in more sustainable high-street fashion, aiming to source all cotton from more sustainable sources (Better Cotton, Organicand Recycled) by 2020. To read more about H&M’s sustainability commitments click here.

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H&M launch new Conscious Denim Collection.

Go Green, Wear Blue. That’s the mantra for BCI Pioneer Member H&M’s new Conscious Denim collection. H&M have seen great success through their Conscious Collections in the past, and this product launch focuses purely on Denim. Denim production is traditionally process heavy – not only the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with the growing of conventional cotton, which BCI works to address – but many denim items are also dyed with toxic dyes, sandblasted and chemically softened. Available in stores from today, the Conscious Denim collection aims to improve the production of denim-wear by combining more sustainable materials with more sustainable production.

H&M are BCI Pioneer members – part of a dedicated group of Retailers and Brands deeply committed to the success of Better Cotton, who wish to be a driving force in making Better Cotton a mainstream commodity. H&M have supported BCI’s mission since the organisation was established in 2005, and have made a public commitment for all cotton in their ranges to come from more sustainable sources by 2020.

This most recent campaign from H&M once again brings to the public’s attention the need for more responsible consumer choices, giving customers the option to buy affordable fashion items whist caring about the future of the planet. Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO says: ”At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.”

To learn more, go to H&M’s sustainability website by clicking here.

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H&M release 2013 Sustainability Report

Following the successful launch of the Conscious Collection, H&M released it’s 2013 Conscious Actions Sustainability Report today. Highlights of the report include:

– Doubling their procurement of more sustainable cotton in the last two years.

– 15.8% of the cotton they use being certified Organic, Better Cotton or Recycled.

– More sustainable fabrics now representing 11% of products’ total material use.

The report shows H&M’s dedication to more sustainable solutions both throughout the supply chain and in product innovation, detailing their progress to date on a journey towards “creating a more sustainable fashion future.’

”We take a long-term view on our business, and investing in our sustainability means investing in our future. This gives us the opportunity to contribute to the development of communities around the world, and better lives for millions of people”, says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M

As a BCI Pioneer member, H&M have committed to sourcing all of their cotton from “more sustainable sources’ (including Better Cotton, Organic and Recycled) by 2020. To read more about H&M’s sustainability commitments, go to their “About H&M’ website by clicking here.

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H&M keen on working with Asian suppliers

Publication from rappler.com March 2013

Through the Better Cotton Initiative, a partnership between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and major brands like H&M and Ikea, H&M Global Sustainability Manager Fredrik Rosenholm says they were able to reach cotton farmers and teach them to farm cotton with less pesticides and water.

To read to full article, click here.

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