H&M is a Swedish retail clothing company with a multinational presence that prioritizes fashionable clothing at reasonable prices. In addition to clothing essentials, H&M sells shoes, cosmetics, and some household items. H&M currently has over 5,000 stores worldwide and employs over 120,000 people.
H&M has been working to support sustainability in fashion as exemplified by a recent investment in Worn Again, a company that reuses and recycles textiles.H&M also participates in garment collecting; more than 50,000 tons of old textiles have been brought by customers into the H&M stores for reuse and recycling since 2013. The company gives grants for sustainable fashion practices that support circular fashion through their Global Change Award program that began in 2015. H&M provides detailed information about the production (factory and materials) for individual garments.
H & M began as a clothing store for women, founded by Erling Persson in 1947 and located in Västerås, Sweden. It was originally called "Hennes," Swedish for “Hers.” Persson opened his first store in Sweden's capital city, Stockholm, in 1952. Hennes opened two more stores in Stockholm over the course of the decade, including a flagship store in the first of five skyscrapers built in the Hötorget area in central Stockholm.
In 1968, with its acquisition of Mauritz Widforss, a Stockholm-based hunting apparel and fishing equipment retailer, Hennes became Hennes & Mauritz. They began offering clothes for men and children in addition to the womenswear. By 1969, Hennes & Mauritz had forty-two stores, including locations in Norway, Denmark, U.K., and Switzerland. Hennes & Mauritz rebranded as "H&M" and the store was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1974. In 1982, Stefan Persson (now Chairman of the Board at H&M) took the place of his father, Erling Persson, as CEO.
The company continued to expand across Europe in the nineties and also began using big-name models, establishing itself as a fashion brand. They opened their first store in Paris in 1998, along with opening their first online market in Sweden. H&M expanded beyond Europe in the year 2000 by opening a flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York. In 2007, H&M opened its first stores in Hong Kong and Shanghai. H&M now has stores in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Australia; online shopping is available to all of these markets.
In January 2019, H&M launched its first line of gender-neutral clothing along with Swedish label Eytys.
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H&M declares winners for €1M awards for sustainable textile innovations
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The Global Change Award is Back, with New Scope
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