You’re doing amazing, Sweden.
Sweden, land of Ikea, beautiful minimalist design, and ABBA, is once again doing something great for the world.
Turns out there’s a power plant in Sweden burning H&M clothes instead coal. The Vasteras plant, which produces heat and power, is aiming to become a fossil fuel-free facility within the next three years. Instead of oil and coal, they’re burning recycled wood, trash, and clothes.
But why clothes? Simple: it burns, so it works. “For us it’s a burnable material,” Jens Neren, head of fuel supplies at Malarenergi AB (utility which owns the plant) told Bloomberg. “Our goal is to use only renewable and recycled fuels.” The plant burned about 15 tons of discarded clothes from H&M this year.
And before you scream “they should’ve just given me the clothes!” in the comments, here’s why it works: The clothes they’re burning have mold and/or isn’t safe to wear anymore.
“H&M does not burn any clothes that are safe to use,” Johanna Dahl, head of communications for H&M in Sweden, told Bloomberg. “However it is our legal obligation to make sure that clothes that contain mold or do not comply with our strict restriction on chemicals are destroyed.”
Though Sweden still uses coal and oil to produce heat during the winter, but they’ve pledged to cut all greenhouse gas emissions (caused by burning coal, oil, etc.) by 2045.
If you’re like, “why is burning clothes so great?” it’s because even though scoring a $20 dress feels like a win for your OOTD, fast fashion pieces are actually terrible for the environment. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world! So Swedish power plant, I salute you.