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H&M Disclosing Supplier List Along with Sustainability Progress

H&M for the first time has made its supplier factory list public alongside its annual sustainability report, released last week.

The fashion apparel company says publishing the list is an effort to build a more transparent, sustainable fashion industry and covers 95 percent of its total production volume. H&M offered incentives programs and formed strategic bonds with suppliers to encourage them to voluntarily open up. The suppliers hail from several dozen countries in Europe and Asia, including Bulgaria, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey, China, India and Sri Lanka, among others.

The report also highlights H&M’s clothing collection initiative, which gives customers the opportunity to return old clothes from any brand and in any condition in exchange for a discount voucher. The company says it hopes to one day close the textile loop and make clothes out of the recycled garments.

H&M is the biggest user of certified organic cotton in the world for the second year running, according to the report. The company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative and currently acquires more than 11 percent of its cotton supply from organic and recycled sources.

Other achievements include raising support for higher wages and yearly wage reviews for garment workers in Bangladesh and launching a global water stewardship program with WWF. The company also reported 74 percent of its managers and half its board members are women.

On the energy front, the company says it has reduced the electricity intensity of its stores by 15 percent since 2007 and is on track to meeting its 20 percent reduction goal by 2020.

“We are proud of the achievements we have made during the year,” said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson. “We are transparent about the progress we make and the report is an important part of that. Our customers should feel confident that everything they buy from H&M is designed, manufactured and handled with responsibility for people and the environment.”

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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