H&M has been making a concerted effort lately to shed light on its applaudable eco-friendly practices.
Unlike many of its competitors, the Swedish clothing retailer has made strides in publicizing its recycling programs, as well as heightening the transparency of its manufacturing information, something all too often concealed from the public.
Most recently, H&M continues to wear the fast fashion white hat by pledging to improve conditions for its factory workers in Bangladesh—clearly a necessary asset to any clothing operation. On November 25, H&M rolled out a living wage plan for its textile workers in which all laborers would receive adequate payment by 2018, which, controversially, could require raising the prices of its products.
According to Fashionista, however, H&M isn’t sure whether this prodecure would necessitate a price hike. "It is an investment in our customer offering and will benefit H&M long term," an H&M rep told the site today. "It is important to remember that wages are only one of several factors that influence the sourcing costs and the prices in our stores. We also believe that this will lead to more stable production markets, with better efficiency and productivity. Long term this will be profitable for both us and our suppliers."
While improving workers’ conditions is certainly a commendable act, we wonder whether this action will throw H&M into direct competition with, say, Zara—that is, if the quality of its products improves as well. At any rate, it’s an idea we’ll have four full years to consider.