Thursday, March 29, 2018

H&M Problems

Swedish fast fashion giant H&M is not having a great 2018 – its profits have tumbled 62 percent to their lowest values in over a decade, and on Wednesday it emerged that it was sitting on $4.3 billion worth of unsold garments.

In 2016, Swedish investigative journalists revealed that workers as young as 14 were toiling in the company's Burmese production plants for more than 12 hours a day. They found that the children were being paid as little as 15 cents an hour, which is less than half the minimum wage.

the amount of clothing that is sent to landfills isn't – 10.5 million tons a year in the US alone. And health effects of the toxic chemicals and dyes on garment workers and cottons farmers all over the world is well-documented, on top of the disastrous environmental impact when the chemicals get dispersed into the ground water. This is on top of the fashion industry's carbon emissions, which are higher than some major airlines, and the massive amounts of water needed to produce cotton.

Despite creating a campaign in 2016 to promote shoppers returning their used items to H&M stores for recycling, the company's own development sustainability manager admitted that only 0.1 percent of returned clothing was reused for new textiles. A power and heating station in the town of Vasteras, northwest of Stockholm, reportedly burns defective H&M garments donated by the company instead of coal in an effort to reduce fossil fuels.

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