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What raw materials does H&M use?

2023-11-21

H&M, one of the largest fashion retailers in the world, relies on a wide range of raw materials to meet its production and consumption demands. As a company committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing, H&M carefully selects its raw materials to ensure a balance between quality, affordability, and environmental responsibility.

One of the primary raw materials used by H&M is cotton. Cotton is a natural fiber widely used in the fashion industry due to its breathability, versatility, and comfort. H&M sources its cotton from a variety of regions, including India, China, and the United States. The company aims to increase the use of sustainable cotton, which includes organic and recycled cotton, as part of its sustainability strategy. Additionally, H&M is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an organization working to make global cotton production more sustainable.

Polyester is another commonly used raw material by H&M. Polyester is a synthetic fiber known for its durability, wrinkle resistance, and easy-care characteristics. H&M predominantly uses recycled polyester made from post-consumer plastic bottles in its products. By utilizing recycled polyester, the company reduces its dependence on virgin resources and contributes to waste reduction.

Viscose, a semi-synthetic fiber derived from wood pulp, is also frequently used by H&M. Viscose offers a soft and silky texture, making it suitable for various garment types. However, traditional viscose production is associated with deforestation and harmful chemical-intensive processes. To address these concerns, H&M is committed to sourcing sustainable viscose through strict guidelines and collaborations with suppliers engaged in responsible production practices.

Another raw material in H&M's supply chain is leather, primarily used for footwear and accessories. Leather is a natural material known for its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, H&M recognizes the environmental and ethical issues related to traditional leather production, including deforestation and animal welfare concerns. As a result, the company focuses on sourcing leather from trusted suppliers who adhere to strict environmental and animal welfare standards.

Although not a raw material, recycled materials play a vital role in H&M's commitment to a circular fashion economy. H&M actively incorporates recycled materials, such as plastic bottles, textile waste, and discarded garments, into its production process. By reusing and recycling materials, H&M reduces waste generation, conserves resources, and minimizes its environmental impact.

To ensure the responsible sourcing of raw materials, H&M has implemented various initiatives and partnerships. These include the Higg Index, a standardized tool that assesses sustainability performance in the supply chain, and collaborations with organizations like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Textile Exchange. By actively engaging with stakeholders and adopting responsible sourcing practices, H&M aims to create a more sustainable and transparent fashion industry.

In conclusion, H&M utilizes a diverse range of raw materials in its production processes. These materials include cotton, polyester, viscose, leather, and recycled materials. By emphasizing sustainable alternatives, such as organic cotton and recycled polyester, H&M strives to reduce its environmental footprint and promote a more circular fashion economy. Through partnerships and initiatives focused on responsible sourcing, H&M aims to drive positive change within the global fashion industry.