Products from two social enterprises H&M partnering with will be sold in H&M Home and Arket across five European countries. (Image via Time Out)

H&M Backs Firms Promising Social Change with Banana Leaf Lamps

Fast fashion businesses like H&M are often criticized as a culprit of a variety of environmental damages. As the second-biggest contributor to waste and pollution as well as labor exploitation, retailers are under pressure to prove positive environmental and social impact.

H&M is just one of the companies that has jumped to create a positive movement through its business and has tried to improve its environmental credentials for years. The newest strategy from the company is to back business with a mission to do good, H&M said on Tuesday (8/13).

Through a pilot scheme, the company said that it will sell homewares made by two social enterprises, which are Bangalore Greenkraft in India that makes banana leaves into lampshades and All Across Africa which hires artisans from Uganda and Rwanda to make baskets and trays. All the products will be sold from late August in H&M Home and Arket stores in five European countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Britain.

The two social firms aim to do good while making a profit. H&M said it does not plan to profit from the scheme so that all proceeds from sales can be used to advance the social mission of the two firms.

The social sustainability manager for H&M group, Cecilia Tiblad Berntsson, said the company wants to make it possible for their customers to be change-makers.

In addition, she also hopes the project will lead to job creation for people where it is much needed.