Through its new water strategy, H&M says it will minimize water impacts throughout its operations and supply chain across all of H&M’s 48 national markets, and create positive change in key river basins with major garment production.
A third of the factories that make clothes for H&M using wet processes are already located in extreme water scarce areas, or will be by 2025. To address these problems, WWF and H&M will work in collaboration with policymakers, NGOs, water institutions and other companies to support better management of water stressed river basins – particularly in key production hubs in China and Bangladesh.
In addition to this, H&M designers and buyers will receive further training on water impacts of raw material production, as well as wet processes for different styles. The company will also improve its internal water efficiency, minimize its suppliers’ impact on water, and educate staff and customers about water issues.
A comprehensive review performed by WWF and H&M of H&M’s efforts and challenges related to water guided the development of the newly announced initiative. According to WWF, no other fashion company has such a comprehensive global water strategy.
“Water is a key resource for H&M, and we are committed to ensuring water is used responsibly throughout our value chain. We do this to minimize risks in our operations, protect the environment and secure availability of water for present and future generations. We are proud of the partnership with WWF, which we hope will inspire others to follow,” says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M.