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We need to change how fashion is made and consumed: H&M
Nov '14
Mr. Karl-Johan Persson speaking at BSR Conference
Mr. Karl-Johan Persson speaking at BSR Conference
“We need to change how fashion is made and consumed” said the H&M CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, while speaking about the role played by his company in the sustainable fashion industry at the just held BSR conference, a forum which invites leaders from business, government and civil society to share their visions on sustainable business challenges and opportunities.

Held in New York, the conference was themed as ‘transparency and transformation’ and how these two factors can help in transforming companies, consumers and communities.

While addressing the crowd, the executive cited that a way to increase transparency in the fashion industry is through working on consumer labelling and thereby making it possible for the customer to compare environmental and social sustainability of products. He added that H&M’s decision to make its supplier list public is an important step towards an increased transparency and a more sustainable fashion.

He stated how his company, with its size and dedication, wants to make a difference, “At H&M we want to be more than a spectator of the global developments. We have a responsibility to use our size and influence to do what we can. H&M’s vision is for all its operations to be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Therefore, our sustainability work is an integral part of H&M’s business and an important investment in our customer offering.”

The CEO also stressed on making sustainability an integral part of every department into the business– from the suppliers to customer relations, to cooperate closely with others to develop and implement new ideas, and to act with a long-term focus.

Persson also mentioned about H&M’s fair living wage strategy- which aims to pay sufficient wages to cover the needs of the workers working in the production countries. Initially tested in three role model factories, the strategy was launched a year ago in close co-operation with international trade unions, textile suppliers, the ILO and non-profit organisations.

H&M’s global garment collecting initiative was also described as one important step towards a reduced use of natural resources. The fact that 95 percent of the garments can be reused or recycled into new yarns was emphasized as well as the fact that this will reduce the use of oil and water in the fashion industry.

Operating from offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration with its network of more than 250 member companies.

Founded in 1947, H & M Hennes&Mauritz AB (H&M) is synonymous with affordable as well as up-to-date and high quality fashion. H&M has a wide product range that is divided into a number of different concepts for women, men, teenagers and children.

The company's clothing collections are created by its own designers, pattern makers and buyers. H&M has more than 104,000 employees and around 3,000 stores in 53 markets, including franchise markets. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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