The H&M group have confirmed their collaboration with Bangladesh Denim Expo for the forthcoming 11th edition of the event, being held on November 5th & 6th, 2019 at the International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka.

The H&M group’s participation in the Expo will offer the perfect forum for the company’s brands to highlight their sustainable and responsible initiatives and to demonstrate to the local and international professional apparel industry audience, the importance of Bangladesh as a sourcing hub for the group and the sustainable advances that have been made by the apparel industry in the country.The group is targeting being carbon neutral by the year 2030 and carbon positive by the year 2040 and are actively engaging with their suppliers in Bangladesh to make these targets achievable.

The H&M Group consists of eight defined brands — H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M Home, ARKET and Afound. Together the group’s brands offer customers a wealth of styles and trends within fashion, beauty, accessories, and home wares as well as modern, healthy food. Each brand works with constant improvements of their ranges to always be relevant, while the H&M group’s investments in the supply chain, tech, advanced analytics and AI also benefit customers of all the brands in the group. The principled group are driven by a vision to lead the change towards circular and renewable fashion, while being a fair and equal company. The group uses their size to drive transparency throughout the value chain and have adopted a long-term approach to promote innovations for a circular economy.

The H&M group operates a Change – Making Program, which is at the heart of all of the group’s sustainable work. It includes goals, road maps, standards and methods that help the group work towards their vision, enabling change makers and ensuring that sustainability is integrated into everything that the group does.

The Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of the H&M group founded the H&M Foundation in 2013. The non-profit, privately funded, global foundation’s vision is to improve lives by creating a better tomorrow, and to contribute to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.The H&M Foundation which has donated in excess of US$83 million since its foundation, is an independent legal entity with no direct links to the H&M group, working beyond the company sphere. It has its own team, strategy and board and wants to enable real impact through partnerships with ambitious goals and to be a catalyst for positive change for people and communities, directly addressing human needs surrounding the issues of education, water, equality and the planet. The collaboration with Bangladesh Denim Expo will allow the H&M group to showcase the sustainable and responsible practices and initiatives undertaken by the group and the H&M Foundation in Bangladesh.

The H&M Foundation has donated to a number of projects in Bangladesh, in partnership with leading global aid organizations. These initiatives include child development at slums in Dhaka City, in partnership with UNICEF, transforming lives through access to water and sanitation through ‘Project Sunrise’ in partnership with Wateraid, funding much needed aid for the victims of the recent floods in Bangladesh and financial aid for the Rohingya refugees, both in partnership with the Red Cross.

The H&M group has been working towards reducing water impact throughout the value chain for the past ten years. They began a long-term partnership with the World Wildlife Fund back in 2011,with the goal of becoming the leading water steward within the fashion industry. Their efforts to reduce water usage have yielded remarkable results in Bangladesh, with 7.16 million liters saved through the Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) program, 100% of their suppliers operating effective green effluent treatment plants (ETP’s) and more than 60 of their manufacturers installing rainwater harvesting facilities.

The story with energy saving by the company, within Bangladesh,is similarly impressive, with 501 million KWh of electricity, 106 million m3 Natural gas and 175K ton of CO2 avoided through the Pact program. Partner manufacturers in Bangladesh are actively involved with the H&M group and actively engaged with the company to realize their worthy targets, with a number of suppliers adopting solar powered energy as their major source of power supply. The H&M group’s social engagement with the apparel industry in Bangladesh is well known and this can be seen through its collaboration with IndustriAll, ILO, Better Work and IFC for improved industrial relations and workplace standards, disability inclusion in the factory recruitment policy and women empowerment by creating career progression for female operators to supervisor.

100% of the group’s factories in Bangladesh have democratically elected worker representatives, numbering 3850 in total, of which 40% are female representatives. Over 400,000 workers in Bangladesh have been directly impacted through the establishment of this workplace dialogue program by the group.

The full gamut of the H&M group’s impressive sustainable and responsible activities will be presented in a specially created ‘Closing The Loop Zone’ at the Expo, for local and international visitors to be able to gain an insight and appreciation of the company’s ongoing endeavors in the fields of sustainable apparel production.