H&M recently published its sustainability report, and more importantly, its supplier list, in an attempt to be more transparent and negate the negative press it has received. Highlights from the sustainability report include that H&M is the first fashion company to collect and recycle clothing from any brand in any condition, they are the world's number one user of organic cotton, they saved 450 million liters of water by applying water-saving production techniques, and their use of recycled polyester in 2012 rescued 7.9 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills. They are also working to raise wages in factories in Bangladesh, as well as teach sustainability practices to the factories they work with. This is all fine and good, but they are still clearly lacking in humane treatment of their workers, as shown in the Unconscious Collapses from Clean Clothes Campaign, highlighting that workers in H&M's Asian factories often faint from malnourishment due to poverty wages.
I like that H&M is at least trying to be more socially responsible, but it seems they are more focused on the environmental aspect than the human aspect, which should both be paid equal attention, NOW. With the company making over 2 billion Euros in 2012, I think they can afford to pay their factory workers living wages, even if their prices have to go up just a little. Again, I applaud their transparency, but until factory standards improve, I will continue to not shop there.
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