H &M has published its Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2014, highlighting the success of the company’s ethically minded policies so far.
In December 2014 the Swedish fashion retailer announced that it would be joining forces with Hollywood star Olivia Wilde, a move that appears to have produced profitable results.
Wilde has combined her star quality with her entrepreneurial skills, having overseen the launch of the company’s “Conscious Exclusive” collection at the retailer's Times Square pop-up store.
The actress appears as a welcomed figure to the company that is famous for other high profile ambassadors.
The report highlights how the company has engaged with the Fair Wage Method (developed by the Independent Fair Wage Network) in three model factories. Karl- Johan Persson, CEO at H&M believes the outcome has potential:
“Although it’s still early in the process, the initial results from the first factory that's been evaluated are promising. Based on these learnings, we aim to scale this up to all our strategic suppliers by 2018 at the latest”.
The company has expanded its public supplier list to include second tier suppliers. The most important mills that provide the brands suppliers with fabrics and yarns have been added to the public supplier list. With this H&M hopes to drive further positive change in the textile industry.
The retailer has also made a conscious effort with its renewal energy and garments made from collected items. H&M aim to only use renewable energy where possible, while also doubling the amount of its collected garments. The reports declare that over 13,000 tonnes of textiles have been collected - the equivalent of 65m t-shirts in fabric.
The business as a whole is thriving from its ‘quality products’, having achieved profits after tax of £284m in the quarter to February 28. This will assist the retailer’s plans to open 400 new stores this year, mainly in China and the US, compared to its 379 openings in 2014.
With more stores and further exposure, the company’s ‘Conscious clothing’ will be pushed further into the spotlight. According to the report, the business will use this to increase the amount of products made of recycled fibres by at least 300%
H&M is sticking to its morals over financial gain, with CEO Karl-Johan Persson stating:
"Our business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. It's about the best value, not the cheapest price. Sustainability is an important part of this”.
Sustainable clothing is being welcomed with open arms by consumers, with new expectations from retailers likely to urge other companies to follow suit.