Frequently asked questions
Curious to learn who we are and what we do? We hope you’ll find your answers here.
The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. It’s an independent legal entity operating beyond the company’s value chain with its own staff, strategy and board.
The mission of the non-profit H&M Foundation is to drive long-lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in people, communities and innovative ideas. The long-term vision is to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, that were set by the United Nations in 2015. In 2013, around 120,000 people across the world participated in a one-week online vote to decide which of the UN Millennium Development Goals (now the UN Sustainable Development Goals) we should focus our work on. This guided us to build and develop the focus areas we have today: Education, Water, Equality and Planet.
We strive to be a catalyst for positive change on a global, national and local level. On a global level we work for systemic change with transformative programs focusing on Education with UNICEF, Water with WaterAid and Equality with CARE. These programs aim to be transformative by addressing structural barriers and promote new policy within each area.
As a complement to the global programs the H&M Foundation also work with tailor made country specific programs. These are local projects to directly address human needs with a connection to our four focus areas.
During our first years, the H&M Foundation managed to achieve remarkably ambitious goals, reaching hundreds of thousands across the world with quality education, economic empowerment, clean water and sanitation while successfully pushing these issues to the global agenda.
During 2017 the Foundation entered a new three-year partnership with UNICEF (Education), WaterAid (Clean water) and CARE (Women’s economic empowerment) which build on the achievements and learnings made in the previous Global Programs, which ended in January 2017. With the new pledge, the total donation since 2014 to the Global Programs is 360 million Swedish kronor ($41 million/€37 million).
Including our local projects, the H&M Foundation work with a total of 21 partners to drive positive change across the globe. In 2017, 54 countries and 3 million people were reached by the H&M Foundation’s initiatives within our four focus areas. In total, 3.7 million people have been reached since 2013.
Read about our projects here.
The H&M Foundation is a closed foundation, hence it’s not possible to apply for contributions from us. We have instead chosen to use other methods to find the right partners matching our specific strategy within our focus areas.
We carry out comprehensive due diligence when identifying a project. The project has to be clearly connected with one of our focus areas. A possible project is always presented to the board which will make the final decision of a donation.
The H&M Foundation connect with partners and initiate projects that fit the profile of what we identify as prioritized in each individual case. We work by invitation only.
The H&M Foundation follows up on projects by six-monthly reports. On top of this each project is regularly visited and reviewed in the field.
The annual Global Change Award is a revolutionary competition with the aim of protecting our planet and living conditions by accelerating the shift from a linear to a circular fashion industry. Each year, we call innovators and scientists across the world to apply with their game changing idea, an idea that changes the way garments are designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled today, by adding disruptive technology or new business models. An Expert Panel with extensive knowledge within fashion, environment, circularity and innovation select five winners and it’s then up to the public to distribute a €1million grant through an online vote.
The H&M Foundation can provide emergency relief when there is a natural disaster of magnitude, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, storms, epidemics or infestations.
The H&M Foundation consists of a small team of nine people. The team is situated at the H&M head office in Stockholm, Sweden.