H&M is named in a new report as one of the most environmentally responsible players in the global apparel industry
H&M -- the world's second largest apparel retailer behind Inditex -- has been named in a new report as a clear frontrunner in its commitment to sustainability.
According to a report in Issue No 20 of Global Apparel Markets from the business information company Textiles Intelligence, H&M has made formidable progress against a backdrop of challenging trading conditions, and is considered to be one of the most environmentally responsible players in the global apparel industry.
Sustainability has been pushed to the forefront of the business agenda for many apparel companies as the industry has come under increased scrutiny for the negative impact its operations and products have on the environment.
H&M has set a strong example in the industry by the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has put in place, and by the way it has raised awareness of environmental issues among its suppliers, employees and customers.
The company's CSR work, which it calls Conscious, is carried out throughout the group's operations -- from the sourcing of raw materials and the processing of fabrics to the training of workers in the factories which manufacture H&M products.
One of the company's many CSR initiatives includes the use of substantial amounts of organic cotton and various other environmentally friendly fibres and fabrics in its products. Indeed, in 2011 H&M was named in a report as the largest user of organically grown cotton.
In addition, H&M has been working to reduce the use and impact of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain and in its products since 1995. Notably, in 2011 the company helped to form the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme which aims to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals throughout supply chains and products by 2020.
The company has also shown a genuine commitment to protecting the rights of workers in factories which manufacture its products. In September 2012 H&M requested the Bangladeshi government to raise minimum wages for workers in the textile and apparel industry in Bangladesh. A year earlier, H&M joined the Fair Wage Network as part of its efforts to promote fair wages for workers across its global supply chain.
With regard to water conservation issues, H&M is collaborating with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an international conservation organisation, to increase awareness of such issues, and improve the efficiency of its internal water usage and that of its suppliers.
Also, H&M continues to play an active role in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition -- which focuses on reducing the negative environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear production around the world.
Furthermore, the company aims to encourage its customers to recycle their old or unwanted garments and, to this end, it has started a scheme for collecting such garments in stores and rewarding customers with discount vouchers.
These initiatives demonstrate a genuine commitment by H&M to reducing the environmental and social impact of its operations, and help to set the company apart from many of its competitors.
"Profile of H&M: a leader in eco chic" was published by the global business information company Textiles Intelligence in issue No 20 of Global Apparel Markets.
Other reports published in the same issue include: "Talking strategy: Harry van Dalfsen discusses the International Apparel Federation's (IAF's) aim of global standardisation to improve supply chain efficiency"; "Product developments and innovations"; "Trade and trade policy: clothing imports, retail demand and trends in five emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, India and Russia"; "Business update"; and "Market indicators".
Global Apparel Markets is a quarterly publication from Textiles Intelligence. Each issue provides an independent and worldwide perspective on the global apparel industry.
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For further information, please contact Belinda Carp at Textiles Intelligence, Alderley House, Wilmslow SK9 1AT, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1625 536136; Fax: +44 (0)1625 536137; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org