H&M is one of the biggest fashion companies in the world and, at the pricepoint the Swedish fast-fashion retailer reaches the consumer, you would probably imagine it places low production costs as a priority over everything—but turns out, the international megastore is one of the most conscientious sustainable retailers around. In fact, H&M is the single biggest user of certified organic cotton in the world!
This morning, H&M released its 11th sustainability report, which details a 95 percent comprehensive list of its suppliers
—including names, factories, and locations—descriptions of its worldwide sustainability initiatives, detailed information about its fabrics and sourcing, and more.
"We are transparent about the progress we make and the report is an important part of that," said CEO Karl-Johan Persson. "Our customers should feel confident that everything they buy from H&M is designed, manufactured, and handled with responsibility for people and the environment."
Some fun facts from the report:
- H&M is the number one user of organic cotton in the world for the second year running.
- The CEO of H&M met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to support an initiative for higher wages for workers and "yearly wages reviews for garment workers."
- 11.4 percent of the cootton used by H&M came from "more sustainable sources" with 7.8 percent certified organic cotton and 3.6 percent Better Cotton
- H&M used 7.9 million plastic bottles worth of recycled polyester last year.
- Of the company's managers, 74 percent are women.
- Of the company's board members, 50 percent are women.
- H&M reduced its retail electricity use by 15 per square meter from 2007 and aims to reduce by 20 percent in the next seven year.
- The company trained 570,821 garment workers in Bangladesh on their worker's rights.
- As part of its Conscious Foundation, H&M invested $6.3 million in communities in India and Bangladesh.
Does knowing about these behind-the-scenes facts about fashion brands encourage you to want to support them more?
Check out some of H&M's amazing pieces from its Conscious Collection:
\(Photos courtesy H&M)