H&M—the world’s second largest apparel retailer behind Inditex—has been lauded for its commitment to sustainability. According to a report in Global Apparel Markets, from the business information company Textiles Intelligence, H&M is considered 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 with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has put in place, and 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 its 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. The company’s CSR initiatives include extensive use of organically grown fibers, reduction in the use of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain and production lines, increased protection for worker’s rights and efforts to improve water conservation.
Additionally, H&M aims to encourage its customers to recycle their old or unwanted garments and has started a program in the U.K. where customers can bring unwanted clothes to H&M stores and receive discount coupons in exchange.
Visit H&M’s CSR website to learn more details about the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.