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Swedish brand H&M devises water strategy with WWF

H&M has collaborated on a water strategy with WWF. The aim is to enable the company to become a leading water steward in the fashion industry. This integrated strategy goes beyond factory lines, taking into account the whole supply chain and also covering climate action and strategic dialogue to tackle broader sustainability challenges at an industry level, such as circular production processes and the use of sustainable materials.

Transforming the textile industry’s water management to reduce pollution is a critical part of WWF’s work to conserve freshwater resources. WWF’s global partnership with the H&M group has led the way by improving H&M group’s water management and encouraging other companies, NGOs and policymakers to collectively engage on water issues on a global level.

Clean freshwater is becoming a scarce resource. In the textile industry, water plays a critical role. Growing cotton, dyeing fabrics, creating washed-out looks — all have an impact on water resources. As a part of the strategy H&M will assess footprint and risk in its stores, warehouses and suppliers’ factories, improve the use of water and reduce pollution within its operations and suppliers’ factories and engage with public policymakers to manage water basins in a sustainable way.

The group feels its long-term success depends on access to water, the sustainable management of shared resources and a consideration for the needs of local communities.