Water challenges can never be solved by a company or organization alone. An important part of the H&M Group and WWF partnership work has been to raise awareness on water risks – but also on the opportunities and the solutions needed to fix them – to other brands.
A key aspect of being a responsible water steward is to understand and communicate about risks, solutions and to share learnings. Pre-competitive collaboration with business peers helps to get them inspired to act and become water stewards themselves. It is also about joining forces with other stewards and industry platforms, to put forward shared messages to push policy makers and the industry forward towards stronger sustainability practices.
Through the years, H&M Group and WWF have advocated for more sustainable use and management of water resources at roundtables, in 1-2-1 meetings, at business, textile and sustainability events such as the World Water Week.
“For us, sharing learnings and results means that we might speed up the water journeys for other brands, which will benefit us all. Fashion brands may compete on street level, but when it comes to sustainability we are in this together”, said Kim Hellström, Climate and Water Strategy Lead at H&M Group.
To date, around ten global brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Target and IKEA have joined in on WWF’s water stewardship program. Among other things, this has led to brands running supplier trainings together – jointly emphasizing the role that suppliers and industry have to play in responsible water usage – and collaborating on call for actions, such as urging the textile industry to commit to supporting SDG 6 commitments.
In 2020, H&M and WWF once again joined forces to launch an Open Letter on the importance of maintaining sustainability in the face of COVID-19. This letter has seen broad support and has catalyzed further collaboration amongst public, private and civil society groups.