H&M is a world-wide mens and women’s clothing brand. It operates in 62 different countries with over 4500 stores and 150,000 employees. With branding almost always comes controversy, which H&M is familiar with. Controversies they’ve been involved in range from racist advertisements, over-production, environmental mistreatment, etc.
In response to these controversies, H&M has made many strides toward becoming a transparent brand, including creating their own foundation and being open about the policies and codes that they hold important.
The CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, has expressed before how “[H&M is] dedicated to continue making great fashion and designs affordable, by having a circular approach and being a fair and equal company.“ Sustainability within H&M is held obtainable in their main priorities by 100 percent leading the change, holding their company as a 100 percent fair and equal working environment, and giving a 100 percent circular and renewable cycle for every item of clothing.
To achieve this goal, H&M’s strategy was to develop an ambitious strategy, find a broad range of external and internal experts, and follow a science-based approach wherever possible. Just last year, some of their key achievements included the reduced rate of emissions from their own operations by a further 21%. They have made a promise that by 2030, H&M will only use recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials in the brand.
In fact, H&M’s sustainability has been widely recognized for many awards. Awards such as the The Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index and Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations Newsweek Green Ranking to name a few.
As sustainability in this day and age has become the most desirable aspect of the fashion industry, H&M has officially set a new chemical vision and roadmap to lead the change towards a toxic-free fashion future. In turn, 100 percent of the associated commercial business partners with H&M have signed their Code of Ethics. This Change-Making Programme brings together the goals, road-maps, standards and follow-up methods they need to work towards the overall vision, while leaving room for locally-tailored implementation and activities.
The Fashion Transparency Index ranks and reviews 150 of the biggest brands and retailers. These are based on how much information the brands disclose about their suppliers along with supply chain policies and practices. Social and environmental impact are also factors in the disclosure. H&M was ranked #4 in the Fashion Transparency Index. They believe supplier disclosures is a key factor in transparency. Their supplier list lists first-tier manufacturers that are responsible for 98.5% of H&M group products. One of the things that makes H&M so transparent is the fact that they have a foundation. The foundation is called the H&M foundation. It is privately funded foundation by the Stefan Persson family and the founders and main owners of H&M. Their mission is to act as a catalyst for positive changes in all initiatives–to change the old way of doing things and speed up changes in their 4 focus areas. The 4 focus areas of the foundation include: Education, Water, Equality, and Planet.