H&M lists individual suppliers for each of its garments to increase supply chain transparency
In April 2019, H&M became the first major brand to list individual suppliers for each of its garments. Customers can also access this information when shopping in physical stores by using the H&M app to scan the price tag on a product to see its details.
The move has been praised by labour rights group as a step forward, however has also been criticised for not including data on workers' wages and living wage commitments.
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Author: Sonia Elks, Thomson Reuters Foundation
"Fashion giant H&M lists suppliers for all garments to tackle worker abuses", 24 April 2019
Fashion brand H&M has become the first major retailer to list individual supplier details for each garment on its website to increase transparency in an industry with high risks of slavery and labour abuses.
The... move was hailed by workers rights groups who said it was a step forward, but added that the data may not be particularly meaningful to shoppers without... "adding information for example about wages paid at suppliers and comparing that to the living wage benchmarks or their promises on living wages."...
Online shoppers can see where clothing was made, including the production country, supplier and factory names and addresses as well as the number of factory workers.
The brand's app can be used to access the same data for clothing in stores by scanning an item's label. Customers can also see information about the material used in clothing, although H&M does not list specific sourcing details for raw materials...
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Author: Turn Around, H&M
"Despite a positive move H&M still falls short of meaningful transparency", May 2019
H&M has announced positive new steps toward supply chain transparency that should be followed by other brands... It cannot be denied that this is an important step... it would be great if more brands followed this example. However... it still lacks vital information for consumers to make the “informed choices” H&M is aiming at...
This is the level of transparency that we expect in the area of wages as an immediate follow-up to H&M’s recent announcement of increased supply chain disclosure:
- Information on the living wage pilot projects carried out as part of H&M’s commitment, including concrete factory information, wage level and development through time at each factory, and lessons learned.
- Definition of a “fair living wage” as well as information on the proposed methodology to calculate a “fair wage” and to make sure that it is actually paid.
- Based on the above definition, minimum acceptable wage levels – in concrete terms – for all H&M’s production countries.
- Detailed information about efforts made within existing living wage initiatives such as ACT.
- A cost breakdown of the pricing structure, specifying how labour costs are calculated at present and how that is different from before H&M’s living wage commitment was made...
In addition, H&M should regularly publish up-to-date information on wages paid at each supplier factory, so that progress toward the specific wage increase targets can actually be measured.
"H&M FIRST MAJOR FASHION RETAILER TO BRING PRODUCT TRANSPARENCY TO SCALE", 23 April 2019
... we are dedicated to transform the fashion industry and make it more sustainable – and more transparent...
For each of our garments, we now share details such as production country, supplier names, factory names and addresses as well as the number of workers in the factories. In addition, customers can find out more about the materials used to make a specific garment. By sharing extended details on where our garments are made we make it easier for customers to make more informed choices when shopping.
“...By being open and transparent about where our products are made we hope to set the bar for our industry and encourage customers to make more sustainable choices. With transparency comes responsibility, making transparency such an important factor to help create a more sustainable fashion industry”, says Isak Roth, Head of Sustainability at H&M.
... Customers can also access this information when shopping in our physical stores by using the H&M app to scan the price tag on a product to see its details...