Yes, H&M is a fast fashion brand.
Founded by white Swedish businessman Erling Persson, and now predominantly owned by his son, Stefan Persson (worth £18.5 billion), H&M is multinational clothing retailer. H&M can be considered a fast fashion brand due to the speed of production and scale of clothes that it sells. It has six sister brands: & Other Stories, ARKET, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki, and Weekday. Together they make up H&M group. The group works with with more than 120,000 employees, and over 2,000 factories worldwide.
Fashion Revolution Transparency Rating: 68/100
Good On You Sustainability Rating: 3/5
Additional Reasons Why H&M Is A Fast Fashion Brand
- In 2022, H&M was found to have multiple links to JBS, a Brazilian firm responsible for much of the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest through cattle rearing and leather production.
- In 2021, H&M dropped from 73/100 to 68/100 in terms of Transparency, according to Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index
- In the same year, the Changing Markets Foundation found that 96% of H&M’s green claims were greenwashed.
- Between 2020 and 2021, the brand removed their Supplier Compliance data from their Supplier List, meaning it is no longer possible to see whether all comply (or in the case of previous years, do not comply).
- H&M has a way to go on sustainability, with “aims to be climate positive by 2040“, 10 years after the impending climate crisis based on UN predictions.
- In 2020, H&M stopped paying its contracted garment factories using covid-19 as an excuse. After external pressure, they promised to pay their garment factories – but the incident should never have happened in the first place.
This snippet is part of a larger guide to UK fast fashion brands, which goes into more detail about the issues with fast fashion, why it will never be sustainable, and how to make your wardrobe more sustainable.
Data for this review is taken from the brand’s website, corporate website, and Wikipedia. The Transparency Rating is from Fashion Transparency Index 2021. The Sustainability Rating is from Good On You.