Get vouchers for your old clothing with H&M

H&M promise to give you a 15% discount voucher if you bring a grocery-bag-sized bag of old clothing for their recycling scheme. Its brochure claims this initiative closes the fashion loop “By reusing and recycling, old clothes get a new life,” because 95% of textiles end up in landfills. They hope, that through this scheme, they are able to change the amount of waste.

Clothing can be dropped off at any H&M store nationwide. Moneybags journalist Jessica Anne Wood gave the garment collection initiative a try.

Donating the clothing

Perhaps I didn’t come at an ideal time but it took several minutes to find a sales assistant at the H&M at the V&A Waterfront, who could assist me. I was directed to the checkout counter and after standing in a queue for a few minutes, I was called to a till point. However, when I told the sales clerk that I was there to drop my clothes off for the garment collection initiative, she didn’t know what I was talking about.

After consulting with a colleague, she directed me to the end of the checkout counter where there was a bin to place you bags of clothing in. After depositing my two bags into the bin, the sales clerk walked away, apparently unware that I was entitled to two 15% discount vouchers. After enquiring after the vouchers, another sales clerk confirmed that they were due to me and it took another five minutes or so for the vouchers to be found and given to me.

While I am happy with the vouchers and that the initial confusion from their side was eventually resolved I was, however, disappointed that the staff weren’t more on the ball with regards to the initiative and how it works.

There also wasn’t clear signage regarding the initiative, except on top of the donation bin, which I could only see when I was standing right next to it. I think that if H&M want this initiative to become more popular, clearer and easily accessible advertising about the initiative needs to be set up in store, or maybe the sales clerks should tell you about it when you are paying.

I also feel that more training is needed so that less time is wasted in directing customers through the procedure.

The vouchers

The good news is that the vouchers are valid for a long time, with mine only expiring in August 2017, which is a good thing considering you can only use one at a time. However, it will be interesting to see how easy it is to redeem the vouchers once I decide to use them. After experiencing the challenges I did with receiving the vouchers, I can only hope redeeming them is an easier exercise.

H&M response

Moneybags contacted H&M about their experience. The company welcomed the feedback, and has raised the issue with the store management and the HR department. The company notes that it is training its staff and is constantly looking for ways to improve.

According to H&M, it will be launching another recycling initiative next year, so keep an eye open.

To read more on the garment collection initiative, click here.