H&M has been publishing reports on its socially responsible development for about 20 years in a row. The company is really “leading the change” regarding sustainability and it sets an example for other companies.
Firstly, H&M was one of the first companies to use recycled plastic in production. For example, H&M receives jersey knitted fabric by recycling polyamide from production waste (Candeloro, 2020). Secondly, H&M has launched an innovative program, ‘Long live fashion!’ (Giertz-Mårtenson, 2020). Anyone can bring used clothes to the nearest H&M store, from where they will be sent for recycling (Seo & Suh, 2019). Thirdly, H&M, together with the Better Cotton Initiative, develops and promotes advanced cotton-growing technology with the minor use of water and chemicals (Jamble, 2021). This method of farming saves such natural resources as soil, water, and electricity.
The first reason why H & M may not be ready to lead the change is some contradictions in the company’s ethics: the brand continues to work with animal skin. The second reason is a substantial number of disadvantages of environmental clothing, for which people may refuse to buy it (Hambrick & Fredrikson, 2005). Such clothes are not to be washed too often (Tun, 2021), and the stains should be removed manually from them (Camillus, 2008).
First of all, companies with fewer resources will follow the example of H & M is that recycled plastic is a cheaper way of production. In addition, the energy obtained from alternative sources (in H & M, from solar panels) is more affordable, so many companies can follow its example (Johnson et al., 2020). The third reason is that the launch of such a program as Garment Collecting can also help the company save on raw materials for production (Elizaga, 2016). Therefore, even companies with fewer resources can follow H & M’s lead.
Even though the company has not yet wholly switched to environmentally positive fashion, it is getting closer to this every year and it sets an example for other companies.
Camillus, J. C. (2008) ‘Strategy as a Wicked Problem’, Harvard Business Review, pp. 99-106.
Candeloro, D. (2020) ‘Towards sustainable fashion: The role of artificial intelligence – H&M, Stella McCartney, Farfetch, Moosejaw: A multiple case study’, European fashion, 10(2), pp. 218-220. Web.
Elizaga, U. L. (2016) The contrast of fast fashion giants, Zara, H & M and UNIQLO.
Giertz-Mårtenson, I. (2020) ‘How Swedish entrepreneurial culture and social values created fashion for everyone’, European fashion, 9(7), pp. 81-85. Web.
Hambrick, D. and Fredrikson, J. (2005) ‘Are you sure you have a strategy?’, Academy of Management Review Executive, 19(4), pp. 51-62.
Jamble, R. (2021) ‘A comparative study of online fashion promotion: Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and label in India’, IAR Journal of Business Management, 2(4), pp. 12-24. Web.
Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D. and Regner, P. (2020) Fundamentals of Strategy, Pearson Education, Harlow, England.
Seo, K. and Suh, S. (2019) ‘A study on the characteristics and social values of vegan fashion in H&M and Zara’, Journal of Fashion Business, 23(6), pp. 86-100. Web.
Tun, Z. T. (2021) H & M: The secret to its success, New York, NY.