H&M Group packaging

PARIS — H&M Group has begun using a new system with paper packaging, marking a step toward its commitments to reduce the use of plastic.

“It is yet to be improved since we need to continue working on replacing the use of plastic throughout our logistics supply chain,” said Hanna Lumikero, who is responsible for the new packaging system at the Swedish fast-fashion retailer.

Fashion labels across the spectrum are under increasing pressure from both consumers and investors to offer evidence that they are working to lower the environmental impact of their activities, and reducing dependency on plastic has become a priority for many brands.

The new system replaces the outer layer of plastic on delivery packages with paper, she explained.

“This is a small step on a long journey,” added Lumikero.

H&M has said it seeks to reduce packaging by a quarter while designing reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

The retailer signed on to commitments laid out by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, called a New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, as well as the Fashion Pact, which regroups actors in the industry, and the Pack4Good initiative set up by the nonprofit organization Canopy.

The retailer started testing the packaging in distribution centers in the Netherlands, the U.K., Sweden, China, Russia and Australia, for its labels Cos, Arket, Monki and Weekday. It is being rolled out with the H&M brand in select markets, and beginning in 2021, will be also be used at & Other Stories.

H&M has framed many of its environmental efforts around the goal of building a circular business, using more recycled materials, for example. By 2030, it said it will only source recycled or other sustainably sourced raw materials.