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H&M Foundation’s new Global Manager is determined to change the industry through philanthropy

H&M Foundation’s new Global Manager, Anna Gedda, has over fifteen years of practice from the fashion and textile industry, experience in how to make brave strategies come to life and an equal passion for fashion and sustainability. It is her firm belief that the fashion and textile industry can be both socially inclusive and planet positive, but it requires bold ambitions, ground-breaking innovations, and collaboration. As Global Manager for H&M Foundation, Anna Gedda is set to use philanthropy as a catalyst to co-create and share inspiring solutions with the potential to radically transform the entire industry.

Anna Gedda, Global Manager H&M Foundation

What led you to H&M Foundation?

“Having worked with sustainability for a long time, I’ve followed the amazing journey of the H&M Foundation over the years. I’ve been really impressed with their bold ambitions and innovative approach to tackle the challenges in the textile industry, so I always knew that I wanted to be part of that journey someday.

Looking at the challenges within the textile industry today, it is clear that radical transformation is needed, and here I believe that philanthropy can play a very unique role by finding, funding and facilitating innovations and initiatives in ways that other actors may not be able to. With that in mind, I very much look forward to being part of the H&M Foundations continued journey to contribute to a more inclusive and planet positive textile industry.”

Where do you want to take H&M Foundation going forward?

“To begin with, I look forward to building on the fantastic work H&M Foundation has already done over the years – from identifying and scaling innovations, finding new ways to address systems change to drive social inclusion, and using our unique role as a non-profit to catalyse change.

Going forward, I see that we will focus even more on creating holistic impact where we combine both the people and the planet perspectives to address the industry’s most urgent challenges. Our current program Saamuhika Shakti in India is a great example of this and I look forward to continue to build on its successes and learnings. I also hope to explore new and even more innovative ways in how we can use our role as a funder to rapidly scale innovations and solutions. Here I see a great potential in partnering up with other actors that can complement our role and together create synergies to maximize impact.”

What will you and the foundation focus on this year?

“The H&M Foundation has always had high ambitions and this year is no different with many exciting things in our pipeline. For example, we are hosting our 7th Global Change Award, the industry’s largest early-stage innovation challenge. After the pandemic we are much looking forward to a big event where we can celebrate this year’s winners and give them the best possible start of their continued journey to take their ideas to scale.

We will also start evaluating our collective impact programs in Bangladesh and India to see what progress that has been made so far, and how we together with our local partners will build on that to develop the programs further. Although I know that systems change takes time, I am positive that both our programs have already managed to move the needle and contributed to better lives for many people.

An important pillar of our work is to use our platform to share learnings and insights that can create hope and inspire action in the industry. This year we will therefore host a series of events with different experts and other stakeholders to share knowledge, ideas and solutions that can contribute to an inclusive and planet positive textile industry.

So all in all, another very exciting year for the H&M Foundation and I look forward to continuously share updates of our work going forward.”