Sustainable Apparel Coalition

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Some Good News: H&M Group

May 27, 2020

H&M Group Lets Non-Profits Take Over Its Social Media to Support COVID-19 Relief

SAC brand member H&M Group is creatively using its resources to support healthcare workers and non-profits around the world addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. With 120 million global followers on social media, H&M is giving the Red Cross, Save the Children, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/Heart17), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, CARE, and Water Aid access to its social media channels to spread important health and safety messages. The UNHCR recently lauded the social media work as a good example of what businesses can do to help during the pandemic.

The H&M Foundation, a non-profit funded by the founders and owners of H&M Group, has been actively donating to a variety of organizations in support of COVID-19 response efforts. After the H&M Foundation canceled its March Global Change Award ceremony, which awards circular innovation in the fashion industry, and was left with unused hotel rooms in Stockholm, Sweden, the organization donated the rooms to healthcare workers. This gave medical professionals a nearby place to rest after long shifts and prevented them from having to commute long distances while caring for COVID-19 patients. 

To directly support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) response to COVID-19, the H&M Foundation also donated $500,000 USD to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Donations to this fund, set up by the UN Foundation in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, directly support the WHO’s immediate global efforts to track and understand the spread of COVID-19. Efforts also ensure patients get the care they need, provide frontline workers with essential supplies and information, and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. The H&M Foundation donated over $103,000 USD to Sweden’s The GoodCause Foundation and its new initiative GoodHelp (GodHjälp). This initiative connects medically vulnerable individuals with volunteers who can go to the grocery store and pharmacy for them.

Non-profits get access to H&M's 120 million global followers on social media to spread important health and safety messages.

In the U.S., H&M donated more than 70,000 H&M products, including bedding, sheets, adult and children’s clothes to the Children’s Defense Fund, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, GLAM4GOOD, and the Nashville Rescue Mission. These products, worth over $2 million USD, will be used to help communities across the U.S. through the COVID-19 crisis.  

In partnership with Givz, a donation platform for all registered charities in the U.S., H&M U.S. is using online shopping to provide support to frontline workers. For every $60 spent on the company’s website, H&M U.S. donates $10 to charities working on COVID-19 relief, for a total donation up to $150,000 USD. Customers also can donate to a charity of their choice when they complete their order to organizations like the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief, Meals on Wheels, and GLAM4GOOD. 

Around the world, H&M is donating products to support global communities. H&M Spain made a local donation of more than 16,000 products including t-shirts, blankets and socks to the Red Cross. H&M Turkey donated 30,000 clean garments to 18 pandemic hospitals. H&M France joined the Masque Solidarité, an initiative mobilizing networks of volunteer seamstresses, stores and companies to mass-produce and distribute free masks to the general public in France. H&M Indonesia donated socks, sweaters and woven garments to pandemic hospitals and soft toys to children in need. The IT department at H&M has also donated iPads to hospitals so patients can stay in touch with loved ones as they recover.

In addition to its financial contributions and product donations, H&M shifted its supply chain to produce and source personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and healthcare workers. The company has produced masks, aprons, and gloves for different countries and for its own operations over the past two months. In March, H&M donated 50,000 N95 masks to Italy and 50,000 N95 to Spain where frontline workers were in great need of PPE. By the end of May, H&M will have produced and delivered 4 million long-sleeve protective aprons to Swedish Healthcare. H&M is using its global supply chain capacity to support countries and communities worldwide.

Learn more about H&M Group’s COVID-19 efforts.

COVID-19 Impacts & Resources

The SAC launched a new COVID-19 impacts webpage that offers information and resources for the apparel industry to leverage while navigating the current crisis.

Giovanna Davila is the Research & Communications Analyst at the
Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

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