Manufacturing process rather than greening stores and logistics is emphasized this year Global Change Award of H&M. Fibre and fabric production, yarn preparation and dying contributed to 97 per cent of the apparel industry’s total global climate impact in 2016. Retailers, however, rarely own the factories producing their garments. Zara owner Inditex owns around 3 per cent of its manufacturing capacity, while the H&M Group exclusively works with external suppliers, which number more than 1,000.
In two decades, the H&M Group has grown from a medium-sized European retail chain to the second-largest garment company in the world, producing approximately 3 billion items per year to sell across its 4,800 stores. But a recent drop in sales and profits have forced the Swedish giant to face its structural issues, including a production process which led to$4.3 billion of unsold clothes in early 2018. The group, which includes Cos, & Other Stories and seven other brands, was one of the first fast-fashion companies to implement programs to reduce its environmental footprint.