PSA: Reusable Shopping Bags Are Now The New Norm And Here’s Why!
Sustainability is indeed next in fashion.
We’re slowly getting rid of single-use plastics, now it’s time to take it to the next step: Bring your own shopping bags! Fashion retailer H&M held an online event announcing that starting September 1, all H&M stores nationwide will highly encourage the use of resuable or washable shopping bags in their branches. Through this project called “Let’s Reuse,” customers will be charged P2.00 for every paper bag used. Don’t worry, proceeds of this sale will go to non-profit organization Waves for Water Philippines to support their clean water projects in the country.
We have been schooled time and time again about plastic bags but paper bags, in some points considered better alternatives to it, aren’t the best solution either. “About 80% of all paper bags end up in landfills,” says Dan Mejia, H&M Philippines’ Head of Communications. “They often do not biodegrade for decades and cost more to landfills because they take up more space by weight and volume.” So in comes reusable bags as the newest part of our shopping routine.
Reusable bags, especially those made of fabric, are easily washable after every use, thus reducing your waste already by a lot. The start of this project is to “see the potential to create awareness and educate customers of what sustainable fashion is about,” says Marian Dang, Sustainability Manager of H&M in South East Asia, on how small actions can contribute to a rippling effect later on.
It is not something to feel bad about, though, having not brought your own bags to the store. Waves for Water Philippines will be the beneficiary of the bag sale, helping provide clean water to our local communities. “With the help of partners and our community champions, we have now been able to reach a million Filipinos across the country’s 56 out of 82 provinces and with H&M’s Let’s Reuse project, we’ll be able to reach more,” shares Jenica Dizon, Country Director for Waves for Water in the Philippines. Also present in the digital event are Jon Rose, founder of Waves for Water, Carlo Delantar, circular economy pioneer of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, and Sylvain Crouzat, H&M Philippines’ Country Sales Manager.
H&M has been releasing sustainable collection for a few years now. In 2019, their Conscious Exclusive Collection featured low-impact and natural materials like Piñatex, a leather alternative made from pineapple leaves, and Econyl in 2018, a regenerated fiber from fishnets and other nylon waste. By 2025, the H&M Group aims to use packaging that are recyclable, reusable or composted.
These are small steps the retail brand is doing to contribute to the bourgeoning effects of fashion to our global waste. The solution isn’t from a single brand or person but through a collective consciousness and awareness on circular fashion. Having a reusable bag in tow these days may feel like too small of an act, but that’s already up to a great start.
Photo Courtesy of H&M