Swedish fast fashion retailer, H&M, and conservation organisation, WWF, have used World Water Day to announce a five year global partnership.
The new agreement expands the successful partnership from 2013, focusing on water stewardship, to also include climate action and a strategic dialogue related to H&M's and the fashion industry's broader sustainability challenges. This marks one more step towards a truly sustainable fashion industry.
"Together, we are taking a holistic and science-based approach that aims to break new ground within sustainability and fashion. After working closely together with H&M for the past three years, we know they are committed to being good stewards of shared resources, and eager to contribute to shifting the industry towards more sustainable models," says Mariann Eriksson, Marketing Director at WWF.
Since 2013, WWF and H&M have been working according to WWF's model for water stewardship using a 4-step approach, targeting suppliers, staff, consumers, governments and other stakeholders.This work has led to improved water awareness among H&M staff and suppliers and has brought stakeholders from business, civil society and politics together to contribute to more sustainable water management in entire river basins in China and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, a report was recently published, analyzing the economic risk factors for the apparel industry and the crucial linkage to sustainable water use. In China, the partnership results include an Industrial Park project, where suppliers share resources and improve their water and chemical management. The new partnership includes taking the previous commitments in water to the next level while also expanding into new areas of climate and sustainability strategy.
"This partnership enables H&M to explore future possibilities and address two of our main sustainability challenges, climate and water, in a constructive way. Simultaneously we're aiming to influence our industry to move in the same direction. The partnership will showcase to other companies that taking on sustainable business practices is fundamental for future business success", says Pierre Börjesson, Sustainability Business Expert Climate & Water, H&M.
On climate, WWF and H&M work to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in prioritized parts of H&M's value chain by engaging suppliers, customers and policy makers towards a low carbon future. The creation of a strategic dialogue aims to support H&M in the journey to be truly sustainable, moving towards circularity and leading change in the industry.