Working conditions

The H&M group does not own any factories. Our products are instead made by independent suppliers, often in developing countries. It would be impossible for us to operate if we did not take responsibility for how the people working for our suppliers are treated. Everyone should be treated with respect and the suppliers should offer their workers fair wages and good working conditions.

We are very careful before entering into working relationships with anyone. We are committed to picking and rewarding partners who share our respect for people and the environment, and who are willing to work with us to improve their practices. We only allow our products to be manufactured by suppliers and factories that commit to our values and sign our strict code of conduct; the Sustainability Commitment.

"We believe it is a two-way street and we need to be a good partner ourselves as well."

Creating millions of jobs

Many of our suppliers are located in developing countries. Our presence in these countries can make a real difference. H&M group helps to create jobs, consequently lifting people out of poverty, and contributing to economic growth and improved standards of living. Through our business we help create around 1.6 million jobs for people employed by our suppliers around the world. About two-thirds of these jobs are undertaken by women. For many women, this is their first job that provides an income, their first work outside the home and therefore a first step to independence.

To H&M group, local presence is very important and we are present close to the suppliers we buy our garments from through more than 2600 colleagues working in our 21 production offices worldwide. For example, the H&M group has, 600 employees in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose main task is to support suppliers in different ways. This is unique, and a significant factor for influence and positive change.  To us, it isn't a question of whether we should source from developing countries around the world - it’s about how we do it.

In 2016, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven launched the Global Deal, a joint initiative with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The Global deal aims to address the challenges in the global labour market and improve social dialogue and working conditions. H&M group has signed the Global Deal and this film, made by the Government Offices of Sweden was shown during the launch. The first two minutes are about the textile industry, including an interview with our sustainability manager in Cambodia, Sarah Hopkins. 

 

Supporting developing countries

There are of course challenges. Issues such as human rights and environmental standards can be at risk across any fashion retailer’s value chain. At H&M group, we don’t believe that should stop companies from sourcing from developing countries. On the contrary, we are convinced the best way of supporting developing countries and their people is to encourage mutually prosperous partnerships and trade with them. Not isolate them. We want to continue creating jobs, using our influence and promoting better working conditions, reducing environmental impacts and ensuring that human rights are respected.

If you are curious to see who our suppliers are and where they are located, check out our supplier map.

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