By: Parveen Singh Swedish retailer H&M will launch a “global garment collecting initiative,” starting in Feb. 2013, at 1,500 of its 2,700 locations across all of its 48 markets. The project is an effort to promote good sustainability practices and offer customers an alternative to throwing their defective garments out. H&M is the world’s second largest retailer. And like their counterpart, Zara, was one of the first to make affordable designer knock-offs available to consumers and fuelling a culture of fast fashion. Customers will be encouraged to drop off their bags of used clothing, from any brand and in any condition, to their local H&M store. In return, for every bag dropped off, H&M will give customers a gift voucher to be used in-store. The retailer will be collaborating with I:Collect, a global company that specializes in recycling of shoes and clothing in order to help with the processing of all dropped of items. Each year, tons of textiles are thrown out and estimates suggest that the majority of what ends up in landfills can be re-used, recycled or re-used in some way. The company says they hope to reduce the environmental impact of its garments in the long run.