Give H&M Your Old Clothes, Get a Discount

By giving credit for recycled items, it hopes to fuel sales of new duds
Photograph by Brea Souders for Bloomberg Businessweek

Hennes & Mauritz, whose 2,900 H&M clothing stores have helped make it Europe’s No. 2 fashion apparel chain, suffered a public-relations black eye in 2010 when some of its unsold inventory was shredded and left for trash on a New York City street. These days, H&M executives figure they’ve found a way to use clothing waste to burnish the retailer’s reputation. A program started in February encourages consumers to recycle their castoff garments by offering discounts on yet more clothing purchased at its stores. It will be rolled out at all H&M stores by year-end and could attract shoppers as the chain struggles to increase revenue.

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