H&M opens sustainable supply chain up to rivals

​H&M unveils its first-ever virtual fashion collection in a new competition
The new collection will only be available via a competition on its webstore.
// H&M launches global a supply chain initiative to third-party businesses
// The initiative is part of its commitment to make fashion production more sustainable

H&M has launched a new initiative called Treadler, allowing external companies access to the retailer’s global supply chain and even help with product development.

The Swedish retail giant said its new offer applies to all steps in the supply chain “from product development to sourcing, production and logistics” based on the “needs of each client”.

“Treadler will enable its clients to benefit from H&M Group’s expertise, long-term supplier partnerships and strategic sustainability work, thereby helping them to overcome initial business barriers and accelerate sustainable change,” H&M said in a statement.

READ MORE: H&M leads sustainable cotton sourcing ranking

Treadler managing director Gustaf Asp said: “We are not concerned or afraid of opening up the supply chain. Individual brands can only make it so far.

“To take it further in the industry we need to open it up to collaboration.”

The initiative will initially work on a small scale, providing a streamlined service to suit the need of each client, according to H&M Group.

Treadler is one of the first initiatives of new H&M chief executive Helena Helmersson, who was previously a longtime sustainability executive at the retailer.

“It’s no secret that we are part of an industry that’s been commercially successful but not sustainable enough,” Helmersson said when speaking to the Financial Times.

“To future proof our industry, we have focused on transforming and improving our supply chain. We’ve realised that the output of our efforts can be valuable for others too.”

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