H&M Group Sustainability Performance Report 2020

Designing for a stylish and sustainable future

H&M Group has a goal to transition to a more circular fashion future by making more sustainable products and services more accessible, inspiring, and affordable to their customers. As consumers become more environmentally conscious (especially when it comes to shopping and fast fashion practices), they hope to strengthen their relationship with current customers while attracting new ones—and also expand the lifecycle of products for a more resilient business in the future.

H&M Group’s key sustainability policies focus on three main initiatives: their own operations, their business partners, and their materials/products. Their 2020 Sustainability Performance Report outlines their progress to reach their new goal of using 30% recycled materials by 2025.

  • 7 million customers participated in H&M brand’s On Product Transparency pilot with the Higg Index
  • 64.5% of their materials are from recycled or more sustainable sources
  • Achieved 14% reduction in packaging, including 24% less plastic packaging
  • 100% of their cotton is organic, recycled, or sourced in a more sustainable way
  • Globally, 17.6% of production water is being recycled in their supply chain
  • 19 suppliers in Bangladesh now recycle water in denim washing facilities
  • 100% of their textile and leather supply chain suppliers are enrolled in the ZDHC program
  • Estimate saving 1,183 tonnes during 2021 by beginning to phase out single-use plastic hangers
  • 64.3% of H&M Group stores have sufficient recycling systems in place
  • H&M brand offered repair and alteration services in 8 stores


of waste handled in distribution centers was recycled or reused

18,800 tonnes

of textiles were collected in H&M Group stores (equivalent to 94M+ t-shirts)

We all need to play our part in transforming our industry into one that is genuinely built around circularity and social justice.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group

H&M Group strives to increase transparency around their sustainability plans and performance, as well as the sustainability credentials of their products. They are pushing forward with product transparency initiatives to help their customers make more informed purchasing decisions. To contribute towards meeting their new goal of using recycled materials, H&M Group embraced new breakthroughs in fabric recycling technology in 2020—including the world’s first collection that uses the mixed-fiber textile recycling Green Machine, and the first commercial products made from Renewcell’s Circulose®. These innovations show that garment recycling can be scalable and commercially viable. 

They continue to embed the principles of circularity into the design process while testing and scaling pioneering materials—including some made from textile, plastic, and agricultural waste. The business reached their 2022 goal of recycling production water in the supply chain two years early, and are actively working to make sure every other step in their supply chain follows a similar pattern of sustainability.


By being open to new possibilities and embracing collaboration and partnerships, H&M Group has the power to change something much bigger than ourselves.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group