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Helping school leavers gain experience

H&M South Africa collaborated with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and its Youth@Work Programme in 2019 to equip unprivileged youth in Cape Town, South Africa with educational and work experience that will increase their opportunities for employment. H&M South Africa offered seven students the opportunity to participate in a two-month H&M store internship. During this time, the intern worked alongside an experienced employee to learn as much as possible, a step towards employment, a credible CV, and hopefully a brand new career.

“The Youth@Work Programme played a huge role in my life — it helped me gain confidence and overcome obstacles I couldn’t do on my own” says Neo Kyle Hansen, one of the interns and now permanent employee at H&M South Africa.

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Proudly supporting LGBTQ rights

Empowering people to be themselves is central to Monki’s mission. Its head office in Gothenburg, Sweden, is certified by the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights — a first for the fashion industry. Everyone at Monki HQ receives training on how to make people feel comfortable and included — one step towards creating a better future.

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Supporting 160,000 women entrepreneurs

The Global Program for Equality, initiated by non-profit H&M Foundation alongside CARE, equips women with training, tools and financial support to grow their businesses and boost their confidence. So far, more than 160,000 women in 18 development countries have participated.

“The results of the program show very clearly why it makes sense to invest in women entrepreneurs living in poverty. Along with the skills they acquire, the women increase their income, often doubling or tripling it. Investing in women brings both financial and social benefits for women and their communities.”, says Reintje van Haeringen, Director, CARE Nederland.

Sandra Xiquín from Santiago Sacatepéquez in Guatemala is one of 160,000 women from low-income communities who were supported to become entrepreneurs by the H&M Foundation’s Global Program for Equality. She now has her own farm land and is the president of a cooperative with 450 female members.

 

You imagine building your own house, working your own land but where do you start when banks won’t give you loan because you’re a female farmer?

Sandra Xiquín

Promoting fair jobs worldwide

Everyone has the right to a fair wage. We work with our suppliers to establish improved wage management systems as well as democratically elected worker representatives through workplace dialogue programmes in factories. This is to ensure each worker has an individual wage set for them, can contribute to decisions on pay, is supported by a worker representative, and can progress in their job.

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In 2019, 88% of our products were made by workers in factories with improved wage management systems, and 85% by workers in factories with democratically elected worker representatives.

Globally, 900,000 workers continue to benefit from improved wage management systems, and 1,100,000 from workplace dialogue programmes.

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Investors support living wage

An alliance of 12 financial institutions that monitors and encourages investee companies to address living wages — The Platform Living Wage Financials (PLWF) — urges companies to support the work of Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT). ACT is a ground-breaking agreement between global brands (including H&M Group), retailers and trade unions to transform the garment textile and footwear industry and achieve living wages for workers through collective bargaining at an industry level.

“We express our strong support for companies from across the garment industry to join this collaboration” says Kristina Stonjekova, Advisor Responsible Investment & Governance at MN, and Irina van der Sluijs, Sr. Human Rights Advisor at ASN Bank on behalf of the Platform Living Wage Financials.

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Leading the Change

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Circular & Climate Positive

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Fair & Equal

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