Quartz: H&M’s “Sustainability” Report Hides the Unsustainable Reality of Fast Fashion


Quartz reported this morning on H&M’s “Sustainability” Report Hides the Unsustainable Reality of Fast Fashion.”

The article notes that with H&M releasing its annual sustainability report for 2014, “the document details—at great length—how the company is implementing more eco-friendly practices in its supply chain and stores to reduce the harm it causes the environment, as well as its efforts on a variety of social welfare issues such as gender equality and poverty alleviation.”

Quartz says that while the report makes it clear that H&M is doing a good deal to lessen its impact, “a close read of the report also highlights the ways that goal and fast fashion are inherently at odds. By its nature, fast fashion is a volume business, which is exactly what makes it a strain on the planet.”


Linda Greer, director of the health program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has worked with H&M on cleaning up the chemical-intensive process of textile dyeing and finishing and “applauds H&M’s efforts, including making its supply chain more transparent and moving toward “circular” manufacturing, which emphasizes recycling clothes and reusing resources.”

Yet Quartz points out Greer admits “there is some incongruity” between H&M’s goals and its practices. “Fundamentally, there is a disconnect between the idea that you are selling a tremendous amount of clothing in fast fashion and that you are trying to be a sustainable company,” she says.

Image: Alchavezt