H&M Releases 2013 Sustainability Report

H&M Releases 2013 Sustainability Report

H&M ethicalH&M’s annual sustainability report was released today, along with their sell out sustainable Conscious Exclusive line. The retailer recently won the World’s most ethical company awarded by the Ethisphere Institute and their efforts to implicate more sustainable practices within their production line has certainly got them the green seal of approval.

2013 saw some positive changes, as the retailer’s first closed loop collection using 20% recycled donated clothes was introduced, as well as the new recycling initiative where shoppers can donate their unwanted clothes in exchange for vouchers.

To break down just why H&M are leading in terms of bringing ethics to the high street, we’ve taken a look at their achievements for 2013.

  • 230, 000 people with access to clean water and 193,00 with access to clean drinking water through H&M gift cards.

  • 300, 000 cotton farmers trained in growing cotton with less environmental impact and with better livelihoods for their communities.

  • H&M Donation bins25% of sales supported UNICEF’s education, health & child protection schemes.

  • 3, 555, 687 garments were donated to charitable causes

  • 14% less electricity used per store sqm since 2007, with 18% coming from renewable energy.

  • 15.8% of their cotton now comes from more sustainable sources.

  • 340 million litres less of water used in denim production.

  • 3,047 tonnes of unwanted garments collected. The equivalent of 15 million t-shirts.

  • 11% of the materials used in garment production were either organic, recycled or more sustainable alternatives.

  • 21% of shoes are now made with water based shoes and 49% of their leather shoes are produced using certified leather.

  • Amber Valletta H&M ConsciousFair living roadmap launched, enabling a fairer wage by paying more to their suppliers. 

  • 92% of warehouse waste was recycled.

But with H&M being arguably the pioneers of fast fashion, it’s understandable that many see ethical high street clothing as an oxymoron and are sceptical when it comes to mass produced sustainable fashion.

But H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson told the Guardian:

“The price of a garment does not say much about where, how and by whom it has been produced. Affordable and expensive products could be made by the same workers, for the same wage.”

 What can be said is that H&M seems to be proving that green is more than just a trend, leading example of how a major high street store can maintain its edge while adopting a more socially conscious outlook.

 

 

 

 

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