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STOCKHOLM – Swedish fast fashion giant H&M has issued a rallying cry for the global apparel industry to join forces in facing up to the global water crisis. “Water is one of the greatest challenges humanity faces,” the company said, during World Water Week. The call comes during a week when the World Bank has also issued a new report outlining the huge threat to communities and the economy posed by the current water crisis in the Middle East and North America.

In a press note, H&M said: “Belonging to an industry in which water plays a critical role – from growing cotton and dyeing fabrics, to washing our clothes at home – H&M group has a great responsibility. Our goal is simple, yet ambitious, to become a leading water steward within the industry.

“We are, however, aware that solving the challenge cannot be done by a single brand. The time has come for brands, stakeholders, sectors and nations to join forces to see an industry-wide change and preserve water as the treasure it is.”

Shariful Hoque, water sustainability responsible H&M group said: “United in a common vision for a sustainable future for people and nature, we have been collaborating with the WWF since 2011, and our global partnership has played a fundamental role in our work on water management issues along our value chain since then.”

H&M group is participating in several sessions at this year’s World Water Week in Stockholm which runs all this week.

We welcome this message from H&M. However, critics will rightly point out that the fast fashion industry of which H&M is a leading proponent is part of the problem rather than the solution where issues around water scarcity are concerned.

We have contacted the business for comment.

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