Cow dung and sustainability: H&M goes green by making clothing out of dung

As H&M showcase it environmental conscious interventions by making clothes out of cow dung, CEO Vd Karl-Johan Persson says sustainability is part of the company’s DNA and values.


By Lucy Kamara


For centuries cow dung has played a key role in Africa’s economic growth, especially in rural villages, where it is extensively used as a plaster for rice fanner baskets and adobe houses, for stable foundation against natural disasters, as a mosquito repellant, fertilizer, acts as a thermal insulator and natural disinfectant.

Also in rural India/Pakistan, the dung is collected and used to produce biogas. This gas is rich in methane and is used in rural areas of India/Pakistan and elsewhere to provide a renewable and stable source of electricity.

According to the International Energy Agency, bioenergy (biogas and biomass) have the potential to meet more than a quarter of world demand for transportation fuels by 2050.

Today, cow dung is making the news circle again. As part of a plan to be 100 percent sustainable by 2040, H&M has invested in a wide variety of inventive products that are more environmentally conscious; including something people are calling “poop fabric.”

H&M CEO, Vd Karl-Johan Persson, states, “investing in sustainability issues such as these is a business opportunity – and vital for our future business success. But also, as stated in international guidelines such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, it’s part of our responsibility as a company. Corporations have a big responsibility to act in a way that helps to drive change, making their business economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.”

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Categories: Development

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