STOCKHOLM – New figures show the Stefan Persson family, which owns H&M, donated US$22m to the H&M Foundation in 2018. The figures reveal the increasing influence of philanthropy in the apparel space, with similar foundations also now in operation by Burberry, C&A and, as of late 2017, Stella McCartney. As well as aid relief, much of the money was used to fund innovations in textile sustainability, including recycling. Since 2013, the Stefan Persson family has donated 1.5 billion Swedish krona (US$200m) to the H&M Foundation.
One of the initiatives the foundation has supported is The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel which has developed a revolutionary textile recycling facility which opened last year in Hong Kong.
H&M Foundation is projected to invest 5.8 million euro with HKRITA over four years, with investment made possible by the surplus from the H&M group’s instore garment collecting programmes, which is donated to the H&M Foundation. The H&M Foundation allocates 50 per cent of the total surplus to research on textile recycling, and the other 50 per cent to projects focusing on equality and inclusion of marginalised groups.
H&M Foundation also once again backed the Global Challenge Award. 6,640 innovators from 182 countries entered the Global Change Award in 2018, the H&M Foundation’s annual innovation challenge which calls for ideas in textile and apparel sustainability.
More generally, the latest report by the H&M Foundation shows it reached 2.3 million people in 46 countries in 2018, supporting worldwide access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and bringing education and care to children globally.
KarlJohan Persson, board member of the H&M Foundation and CEO of H & M said: “The H&M Foundation is a commitment from my family, which complements the ambitious sustainability program of the H&M group. It operates outside of the business of the H&M group, with a vision to drive positive change for people, communities, and the planet. Being a privately funded non-profit gives the Foundation a unique opportunity to spearhead positive change, since it operates in close contact with the non-profit world as well as with a clear link to the entrepreneurial sphere.”
The report covers the work of H&M Foundation from January 1 to December 31, 2018. It describes how we have invested in people, communities and innovative ideas while also pushing our focus areas to the global agenda.A few highlights