Assessing the shopping sustainably at HandM

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H&M's mission is to offer quality and fashion at the best price possible. Within their company quality is more than garments that meet the customers' expectations. Hennes & Mauritz believes that quality lies within the way their products have been manufactured. These have to be manufactured in a responsible way concerning good working conditions and the H&M Group values the use of sustainable commodities deeply.

When striving towards the H&M sustainable business concept, this means that their operations shall only be done in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and responsible. Every aspect of their supply chain, from the raw materials to the finished products of shoes, clothes and accessories, ensures that all products are made under the best working conditions possible and with the least amount of impact to the environment.

From 2008 and forward Hennes & Mauritz implements their sustainable strategy in all aspects of their company. They have adopted three key elements; a sustainable vision, a sustainable strategy and their Corporate Social Responsibility goals. This is covered by the three P's: People, Planet and Profit. These three areas cannot be seen separately and are deeply interwoven in the company of H&M. They aim to achieve their two long-term Corporate Social Responsibility goals by 2011. Which are: every employee should be respected according to the international human rights and to act responsible and with respect to the environment to diminish pollution.

The corporate identity that Hennes & Mauritz has is to provide a nice and easy shopping experience for their customers. They have a distinct house style that represents the mission. This is why all of the H&M stores have the same layout and design and that is why every employee is well informed about their mission and vision and shows of the young and trendy image H&M wants to show.

The aim of H&M in being an employer is to be devoted and responsible. At Hennes&Mauritz they believe in respect for the individual in terms of a fair salary, decent working hours and the possibility and freedom to grow and develop the careers within their company.

The objectives and perspective Hennes & Mauritz experiences towards the environment are that they want to increase the environmental awareness; H&M carefully makes decisions with caution and out of respect for nature; they aim to use their resources in a sustainable way; Hennes & Mauritz only uses products which are safe and harmless to the environment and they only have green transport.

H&M takes human rights very serious therefore they are a member of the Fair Labor Association; this means that their code of conduct is in tune with the FLA standards. Such as ensuring that good working condition, human rights and the labour laws are respected at H&M. This is their overall aim of working with the FLA.

At H&M they are aware of the environment and of their employees all over the world. They are also aware of the importance of respecting that environment and their employees.

Introduction

H&M was founded in the year 1947 by the Swede Erling Persson when he opened his first store called Hennes, which means 'Her' in Swedish, in Västerås Sweden. The idea was to make good quality and fashionable clothes for low prices. Persson noticed that his idea turned out to be a great success, and in 1960 he expanded his company by buying a men's wear store called Mauritz, which means 'Men' in Swedish. In this way the name Hennes&Maurits was born.

Nowadays H&M consists of 2.200 stores in over 34 different countries and has over 73.000 employees. And still they are still growing. Because the idea of affordable fashion is very popular H&M brings out a new fashion line with a big designer every year, in this way expensive designer clothes become affordable. A few of the designers H&M already worked with are Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor and Rolf, Lanvin, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli and Comme des Garçons. By working with big names H&M became more popular.

The Hennes & Mauritz Group does not own factories, they work closely together with their over 700 suppliers. Every aspect in the supply chain ensures that products are manufactured economically, socially and environmentally responsible. They have an endorsed as well as a branded identity. They externalise all manufacturing and their company name is also their brand.

H&M strives to be a conscious and sustainable company. In every aspect of their company these values are reflected. Within the company all employees, suppliers and other parties are being monitored to provide good working conditions that do not conflict with the international human rights.

Therefore H&M is a responsible company, whom is aware of the environment and their employees all over the world and also about the importance of respecting that environment and those employees.

Organization

Mission, vision and core values

The mission of H&M, as part of their business concept, is to offer fashion and quality at the best price possible. At the H&M group quality is more than meeting with customer's expectations. They want to ensure that their products are manufactured in a good and responsible way. Good working conditions and use of sustainable commodities is of high value for the H&M Group.

By striving a sustainable business concept H&M operates in an economically, environmentally and a socially responsible way. Every aspect of their supply chain, from the raw materials to the finished products of shoes, clothes and accessories, ensures that all products are made under the best working conditions possible and with the least impact to the environment.

Sustainable vision, policy and goals

From 2008 and forward H&M implements their sustainable strategy in all aspects of the company .To accomplish their sustainable strategy H&M adapted 3 key elements; their sustainable vision, a sustainable strategy and their goals. The H&M Group elements cover the three P's, People, the Planet and Profit. These three areas cannot be seen separately and are deeply interwoven in the company. (See appendix 1 for an image)

H&M's vision is to run their company in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. H&M has a responsibility to everyone that is involved in their company, e.g. employees, suppliers and their customers. Together with their suppliers they developed a long-term sustainable standard in every factory that manufactures for H&M.

The H&M group aims to achieve their two long-term Corporate Social Responsibility goals by 2011. These goals consist of the aim that every employee of H&M should be respected according to the international human rights, and the aim to act responsible and with respect towards the environment.

Organizational structure

H&M is an international chain of fashions stores located all over the world. The H&M headquarter is based in Sweden, and the company is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

H&M has a board of directors consisting of eight members and four additional members, two of them represent the employees and two are deputies. The board of directors chooses the Corporate Executive Chef and together they manage every aspect of the company. With five board meetings and one statutory meeting every year they discuss and monitor the financial position of H&M.

Since July 2009 the managing director and the CEO of H&M is Karl-Johan Persson. Before his new function Persson attended multiple functions within Hennes & Mauritz.

H&M gone global

H&M was established in 1947 by Erling Persson and is nowadays a fast growing fashion brand with 2,200 stores all over the world. In the beginning the company was called Hennes, which means woman in Swedish, since it only sold women clothes. In 1969 Personn bought a man's clothing store called Mauritz and the company of Hennes&Mauritz was born.

The designs are created centrally at the H&M headquarter, and H&M does not own factories, but work closely together with their over 700 suppliers.

One of H&M's global goals is to achieve an increase in stores by 10-15 percent every year. And via their online web shop H&M is reachable 24/7 all over the world.

Social responsibility

H&M has been involved in local and international projects to give back to the communities they are involved in. The H&M Group community investment focuses on the education of youth and women, water and innovation of sustainable textile materials. Through their investment work they can genuinely make a difference in the communities. H&M works closely together with WaterAid and UNICEF.

Hennes&Mauritz has adopted the UN Global Compact, with ten principles they support the human rights, anti-corruption, labor and the environment.

Communication

When founded in 1947 H&M consisted of just one store in Sweden. Due to effective communication it grew out to be a big international clothing store chain.

Within H&M multiple brands are represented such as COS, Monki, Weekday and H&M Home. These brands are operating separately from H&M and differ in style and design.

Corporate identity

The corporate identity of the company of H&M is an important part of their image as a sustainable clothing company. They provide a good and easy shopping experience for everyone in the world. They value good looks and quality at the best price possible. Their products are manufactured under good working conditions, this aspect of their identity H&M values the most.

The organization has a branded identity, the corporate name, H&M, is also their main and most known brand. But Hennes & Mauritz also has an endorsed identity. Since the manufacturing of their products are done by independent suppliers' factories all over the world.

Hennes & Mauritz has a distinct house style that represents their mission. Every store in the world has the same layout and design and every employee is well informed and shows the young and trendy image of H&M.

The use of colors is of big importance for the corporate identity of a company. The house style of H&M contains the color red; it stands for a vibrant, youthful and active company. The H&M logo consist of the letter H, which stands for Hennes, and the letter M, which stands for Mauritz. The design of the logo is slightly cursive which makes the logo softer and younger. The color red is a very recognizable color, to attract customers to the H&M stores from far away.

Social Media Room

Nowadays the use of social media is important for a company to attract new customers. To stay ahead with the new developments H&M created a social media room on their website. This part of the website is used to post tweets, articles, movies, blogs and Facebook comments that represent H&M or one of their brands. Fans and H&M itself place these comments online to let customers know what is currently happening.

Advertisement

H&M understands the importance of good and functioning advertisement, as a result of that the H&M Group uses all advertisement aids to the fullest. Hennes & Mauritz has a well-known and strong television commercial. With presenting their latest fashion in a vibrant and recognizable ad, they attract new customers to visit their stores or the web shop. Besides the longer commercials H&M also has small and short commercials just to show one design and the company name, in the hope viewers remember the brand name.

Like said before H&M uses the social media to it advantages, with user generated content they show ads on Facebook and YouTube that represent customer's wishes.

Twice a year H&M changes their clothing collection, in the summer and the winter they send a new catalogue to customers who ordered an item in the previous year. H&M advertises at more than one way to attract all kinds of different customers from all over the world.

H&M sponsors

To advertise at all different areas Hennes&Mauritz sponsors two Swedish horse jumping champions, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Peder Fredrickson. H&M does not only sponsor the horse riders with clothing and attributes but also with free fodder for their horses.

Diversity

As H&M's slogan says, their business concept is to make fashion and quality at the best price. But they believe that quality is more than great manufactured clothes, with nice fabrics that meet their customers' expectations. Hennes & Mauritz believes that qualitative good clothes also mean that they have been manufactured under good circumstances and conditions for their employees and of course the environment. H&M thinks that it is important for them to take responsibility for the way they make their products and set a good example towards their employees, customers, suppliers and investors.

Ambition

Hennes & Mauritz thinks that the way they create fashion is very important. At H&M they believe that quality not only means that the fabrics and duration of the clothes are good and meet the expectations of their customers, but also that the way they have been manufactured are environmental and socially sustainable and responsible.

Towards everyone who helps them grow and helps them with their success, so not only the employees but also to their customers, H&M feels the responsibility to set a good example.

That is why Hennes & Mauritz has to make sure that the human rights of their employees and those of the suppliers and other cooperation partners are not being violated. This is the reason why the H&M Group thinks it is very important to have a close connection with their suppliers in terms of developing a long-term social and environmental responsible relationship with the factories that manufacture their products.

Another ambition of H&M is their aim to recycle as efficiently as possible and to avoid production waste. They are doing this by adopting new technologies and new working methods to minimize the consequences of their production on the environment and by their choice of materials. The H&M Group has developed conscious clothing lines that are completely made of biological cotton.

Because they want to accomplish these ambitions and goals, H&M carefully considers every decision they make, to make sure that whether the decision is at a short or long term, they choose a solution that is in tune with their believes of environmental sustainability and responsibility.

H&M and the environment

H&M's sustainability vision is that all of their operations will be done in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and responsible.

The objectives and perspective Hennes & Mauritz experiences towards the environment are:

H&M wants to increase the environmental awareness among their employees, suppliers and customers.

They carefully make decisions with caution and out of respect for nature.

Hennes & Mauritz aims to use their resources in a sustainable way, this means that they think recycling is very important and they want to minimize the waste of their resources.

The H&M Group only uses products which are safe and harmless to the environment.

They only have green transport, which means clean and efficient transport with a minimum reduction of CO2. So with a minimum influence on the climate.

H&M as an employer

Since the foundation of Hennes & Mauritz in the year 1947 they continuously had the same values at their work floor. They believe in working rather with common values than with theory from a book, they think that believing in their employees, teamwork, and constantly trying to improve is the key to a great working atmosphere. With these believes H&M is trying to create opportunities for their employees who have the desire to grow within the company.

Over the last few years H&M experienced a great amount of growth. They never had as many employees as they are having at this point. Because their employees are spread among many locations throughout the world, it can be difficult for H&M to satisfy all of their employees' needs and expectations. Because of the many different cultures H&M has to deal with. That is why H&M experience high demands.

The aim of the H&M Company is to be a devoted and responsible employer, which can be difficult when the different countries and cultures where they are located, experience different rules and regulations about employee labor acts. These are not always in tune with the demands of H&M. Therefore they try to meet their expectation by negotiating the differences.

At Hennes & Mauritz they believe in respect for the individual, in terms of a fair salary, decent working hours and the possibility and freedom to grow and develop the careers within the company. That is also the reason why they have an open door policy, which means that every employee has the right and opportunity to discuss work related issues with their management.

H&M and their suppliers

Hennes & Mauritz gets their clothes and products from over 700 suppliers, who have over 2,700 factories and hundreds of thousands of employees who manufacture the products.

Because of the large scale H&M is manufacturing their clothes, they are aware of the risk of violation human rights. But at the same time the H&M Group believes that they can contribute to better working conditions for their employees who manufacture their products.

Therefore H&M is a member of the Fair Labour Association (FLA). This is a non-profit organization who is devoted to improve the working conditions in factories worldwide. Because Hennes & Mauritz is a member their code of conduct is in tune with the FLA standards. Such as ensuring that good working condition, human rights and the labour laws are respected at H&M. This is their overall aim of working together with the FLA.

Another reason for H&M to be a member of the Fair Labour Association is that the FLA publishes their findings about the suppliers and factories of H&M on its website. In this way H&M can show their stakeholders the good quality of the working conditions in their supply chain.

Working with the FLA, is also a way for Hennes & Mauritz to get in touch with other FLA partners. So that together they can work on improving labour standards worldwide.

H&M and child labor

At H&M they take child labor very serious. So if they discover child labour at one of their suppliers, H&M wants their supplier to take up the responsibility and find a solution what is in the best interest of the child. When H&M discovers child labour at the same supplier more than once, the co-operation with this supplier will be stopped for good.

Hennes & Mauritz continuously checks if the labour rights are not violated by their suppliers, by checking the documents of every single employee in the factory. As well as interviewing their suppliers employees are a natural routine of their follow-up work.

If the H&M Group discovers child labour at one of their suppliers they will always come up with a follow-up solution that is in the best interest of the child. This is because their overall aim is to help children with a better future, and they do not want the child fired from the factories and then end up at another factory with the same bad working conditions. Therefore they have built up a network with local schools and charity organizations anywhere in the world, and together they can find a good solution for the child. These solutions can lead to financing the education for the child or the wage cost his family is missing now.

Conclusion

H&M still is a fast growing company who are getting more and more popular. This is caused by their great mission, which is to offer quality and fashion at the best price possible. The way H&M feels about the environment also plays a big part. The objectives and perspectives they experience towards the environment are the willingness to increase the environmental awareness; the careful decision making with caution and out of respect for nature; the aim to use their resources in a sustainable way; the believe to only use products which are safe and harmless to the environment and only using green transport with a low CO2 reduction.

That is why at H&M quality is more than garments that meet customers' expectations. Hennes&Mauritz believes that quality lies within the way the products have been manufactured. These have to be manufactured in a responsible way; concerning good working condition and the use of sustainable commodities are valued deeply within the H&M group.

When striving towards the H&M sustainable business concept, this means that their operations will only be done in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and responsible. This is why every aspect of the H&M supply chain, from the raw materials to the finished products such as shoes, clothes and accessories, ensures that all products are made under the best working conditions possible and with the least impact on the environment.

H&M is also really devoted to the needs of their employees; they are being very strict about same labor regulation for every employee all over the world, because H&M believes in respect for the individual. This means a fair salary, decent working hours and the possibility and freedom to grow and develop their careers within their company.

H&M takes human rights very serious therefore the H&M group is a member of the Fair Labor Association; this means that their code of conduct is in tune with the FLA standards. Such as ensuring that good working condition, human rights and the labour laws are respected at H&M. This is their overall aim of working with the FLA.

Therefore H&M is a responsible company, whom is aware of the environment and their employees all over the world and about of the importance of respecting that environment and those employees.

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