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Got a great recycling idea? H&M wants to give you 1 million euros

August 25, 2015, 5:13 PM UTC
Shoppers And Retail Economy As German Investor Confidence Jumps
Pedestrians carry Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) branded shopping bags in Mannheim, Germany, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. German investor confidence jumped to the highest level in 11 months in January as the European Central Bank prepares for quantitative easing. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

The world’s second largest fashion retailer, H&M, is offering an annual 1 million euro prize — about $1.15 million — to those who come up with new recycling techniques, Reuters reports.

The move is part of a larger effort by the retailer to reduce its impact on the environment, operate more ethically, and address raw material shortages.

The fast-fashion model that H&M follows, providing good quality products at inexpensive prices, encourages people to buy more clothes than they probably need, likely leading them to throw away a lot of what they’ve purchased. Consumers are starting to become aware of the huge negative impact this has on the environment.

Karl-Johan Persson, Chief Executive of H&M, told Reuters: “No company, fast-fashion or not, can continue exactly like today. The (prize’s) largest potential lies with finding new technology that means we can recycle the fibers with unchanged quality.”

Existing methods of recycling cotton produce low quality material.

The prize is funded by H&M and the Persson family, the retailer’s main owners.