Mega-chain clothing store H&M got some good environmental buzz going last week when it announced a new recycling initiative that will roll out in all of the 48 markets it operates in, including Portland. Beginning in February, you'll be able to take your unwanted clothing—any brand or condition—into an H&M and offload it for recycling (either to charity or to be re-purposed into other materials and textiles) in exchange for vouchers to the store.

I'll be the first to criticize H&M for its mass-marketing, prevalence of cheap synthetic materials, copying of designers, and propagation of the "fast fashion" culture of buying a ton of cheap shit, but this move looks like a point in the company's favor. It's essentially the same experience of offloading your things at Buffalo Exchange or Red Light after they've rejected the opportunity to buy a single one of your items, but bringing it into the malls and suburbs of the metropolitan area. The company has ramped up their presence dramatically in the area over the past five years, and apparently Portland is eating it right up, so this is a nice change of pace from sweatshop scandals and alleged shredding of unsold merchandise.

H&M advertising from the more innocent days of 1954
  • H&M
  • H&M advertising from the more innocent days of 1954