You know how there are just some baby clothing and outfits that aren’t worth salvaging and need to be thrown away? (I.e., casualties of a mega-blowout or worn clothes your baby outgrows too fast) Well, now you can do that guilt-free with H&M’s new line of sustainable and totally compostable baby clothes!
That’s right! H&M is coming out with a new line of compostable baby clothes that can be recycled via composting once they’re worn out and no longer wearable.
According to CNN, the 12-piece organic cotton collection for newborns launches in May and includes tops, bottoms with adjustable waistbands and cuffs, jackets, hats, and blankets all in soft pastel colors and fun neutral prints. The entire line of compostable baby clothes from H&M is priced from $4.99 to $17.99,
Abigail Kammerzell, H&M’s U.S. head of sustainability, said that all of the items in this line are 100% biodegradable, including the pigments used to print designs on the clothing.
Kammerzell also said the pieces are also deliberately absent of buttons or any metal trim to ensure that each piece can be composted when it’s at its end of use.
Yes, you can even do this by simply adding them to your at-home compost bin.
What Does Compostable Mean?
Compostable materials are materials that have been certified to break down completely into non-toxic components like water, carbon dioxide, and biomass that will not harm the environment, given the right conditions. The resulting biodegradable materials from composting are packing with nutrients and make excellent plant food.
The new H&M collection is certified by the environmental group Cradle to Cradle for using materials free of chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, as well as for producing the clothing with 100% recycled water and renewable energy. This is the first of any of H&M’s clothing collections that is compostable.
“This is the first of any of our clothing collections that is compostable,” Kammerzell told CNN.
Why Make Baby Clothes Compostable?
According to CNN, this latest effort from the Swedish fashion retailer comes amid rising volumes of global clothing waste and growing concern over fast fashion’s contribution to it.
An astounding 17 million tons of textile waste was generated in the United States in 2018, according to the latest data available from the Environmental Protection Agency, with discarded clothing being the main source. The recycling rate, on the other hand, was just 14.7% with 2.5 million tons only recycled.
Additionally, the EPA said landfills received 11.3 million tons of that 2018 textile waste, which represented 7.7% of all municipal waste that ended up in landfills. Efforts like this new line of compostable baby clothes from H&M aims to change that.
“[H&M is in a position] to enable big changes in the fashion industry, and we hope to be a leader in sustainability and keep clothes out of landfills,” Kammerzell told CNN.
What Does This Mean for Parents?
Well, it means exactly what you would suspect — you can toss these compostable baby clothes from this line of baby wear into your compost bin after your little one has outgrown them or after they’ve been stained beyond repair. And you can do it guilt-free!
So, instead of hoarding away bins and bins of baby clothes or sorting through what’s donateable or not, you can buy these compostable baby clothes knowing that at the end of their use they’ll play a part in creating new life via your compost bin.
Plus, you can involve your child in this sustainability practice! Let them add their clothes to the compost bin, and then once it’s time to transport that compost to your garden, involve them in that, too. This is especially helpful for kids who have a difficult time letting go of their things as it allows them to see these clothing items aren’t really gone; they’re just being repurposed in a way that’s beneficial for both their family and their environment.