News article

H&M GROUP HOSTS TRANSPARENCY HACK IN LOS ANGELES

19 Nov, 2018
“Ten years ago, our supplier list was locked up in a safe. Five years later, we were the first global fashion retailer to list our suppliers on our website. Now we move again.”

- Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability H&M group

Transparency is a key catalyst toward a sustainable fashion industry. With transparent information on how, where and by whom a product was made, customers are empowered to make informed decisions, ensuring that everything they buy is designed, manufactured and handled with responsibility for the people and the environment. The more informed customers become, the more pressure they are able to put on companies to act sustainably. H&M group is fully committed to do our part.

This is why we decided to bring together the future generation, thought leaders and change makers with tech, sustainability and fashion expertise for a day full of ideation sessions with the aim of presenting scenario solutions for a transparent fashion future. We believe that if we collaborate across the industry and use new technologies such as blockchain and AI, we can push the fashion industry toward becoming fully transparent.

The Transparency Hack was moderated by brand strategist Ana Andjelic and divided into two different sessions. Our future generation, represented by students from Yale University and USC, set a vision of the future fashion industry and how tech can enable transparency. Their vision was presented to industry leaders, who in turn came up with solutions on how to put the vision into reality.

“By telling the backstory of a product, you make that product much more valuable.”

- Megan McSherry, USC Graduate student in Sustainable Business and Global Supply Chain Management

Representatives from various companies and organizations such as Patagonia, Reformation, Nike, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Studio 189, IBM, The Current, BCG, iCash and Microsoft participated in different workshops and addressed topics such as:

  • How we can set a standard and develop clear labels within the industry, so consumers can evaluate and compare garments on the market.
  • How to use the data embedded in a product through a digital label with the use of for example blockchain and RFID.
  • How to help customers understand the full complexity in all steps of manufacturing a product, and educate them in how they can reduce their environmental impact by taking care of their products.
Ling Qing Meng from iCash in discussions about sustainable business models with Rosario Dawson from Studio 189, Elin Frendberg from H&M group and Lily Oswald from PVH at H&M group Transparency Hack in Los Angeles 2018.

All findings from the day will be open-sourced and shared in a transparent manner for the whole fashion industry so we collectively can continue building on all ideas, solutions and actions. 

The Transparency Hack took place in connection to the Remode conference in Los Angeles, a global event promoting growth and sustainability for the fashion industry. H&M group was represented at the Remode conference by Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability, who spoke about circularity as well as Sustainable AI, together with Arti Zeighami, Head of AI and Advanced Analytics at H&M group.

“To become transparent, fashion companies need to think like technologies that disrupt them,” says Brand Strategist Ana Andjelic at H&M group Transparency Hack in Los Angeles 2018.

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