H&M has been on a bit of a conscious company terror over the past few months. Just recently, the fashion retailer committed to helping animals and reducing waste. I know. We couldn’t believe it either.
Let’s talk about H&M’s animal welfare pledge first. According to Humane Society International, H&M and the Humane Society are working together to protect animals from suffering for human fashion whims. The joint venture is part of H&M’s sustainability commitments.
While H&M has previously supported animal welfare (its H&M-brand cosmetic products and its ingredients aren’t tested on animals), the company has now pledged to support the Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign.
The “#BeCrueltyFree USA campaign is leading efforts to achieve a nationwide ban on cosmetics cruelty,” the Humane Society reports. This past June, the organization began working with legislators to launch the Humane Cosmetics Act in Congress.
“Passage of the HCA would bring the US in line with more than 30 other countries that have already implemented similar bans on cosmetics animal testing and the sale of animal tested cosmetics,” says the organization.
The H&M collaboration also includes the “commitment to pursue policy change in countries around the world, such as national legislative bans on animal testing of cosmetics, as well as the cruel practices within wool and down production.” That’s a pretty big commitment. If this collaboration is successful, a lot of animals will be helped.
H&M plans to promote the campaign by communicating with key stakeholders on the issue, conducting consumer advocacy, and by supporting training and education programs.
And earlier this summer, H&M announced the launch of its “H&M $1 million closed loop challenge.” The challenge was created to “engage innovators, technologists, scientists and entrepreneurs to find a solution to a growing problem in the clothing industry: waste and pollution,” The Guardian reports.
This challenge is pretty cool, but like The Guardian states, some people are wondering if this “challenge” is really a “side step,” considering the company has yet to address “overproduction and worker rights by emphasizing materials innovation and technology – especially when recycling the mixed fibers so common in fast fashion is proving tricky.”
Fast fashion will most likely prove difficult for the brand to conquer, considering that’s kind of what it’s known for. But still, we’ve got to commend the brand for having a pretty great summer. Let’s hope it does even more this fall.
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