Social

We put people at the centre of change. To solve the world’s most urgent challenges, we are joining forces with individuals, organizations, businesses, and academia to create ecosystems and collaborations for impact.

Kumudha, operator at a DWCC in Bengaluru
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H&M Foundation champions inclusive circularity

BENGALURU, June 9, 2022 – Together with an ecosystem of partners the non-profit H&M Foundation launched a first of its kind USD 11 million initiative in 2020, to address the gaps in the system that keep Bengaluru waste pickers in poverty and exclusion. Now, plastic waste collected by informal waste pickers is becoming a valued resource in the fashion and textile industry, providing a higher income and recognition as an integral part of the circular value chain. Buttons partly made from the plastic waste are now featured on garments sold worldwide. The buttons are traceable down to the source of the waste along with names of the workers, social security, salaries and working conditions at the aggregation center.
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Equipping a new generation of garment workers in Bangladesh

Facing the increasing use of automation and digitalization within the garment industry, there is an urgent need to create a skilled female workforce to save jobs and create new job opportunities. By developing video game-based skill trainings, our partner Shimmy Technologies worked to upskill women garment workers, increasing their opportunities to become multi-machine operators and digital design workers.
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Shifting power relations through our new eco-systems approach

Since 2020, we’re piloting a brand-new strategy to create Inclusive Societies, aiming to invent next practice for systems change and ensuring equity for the long-term. By using Collective Impact, we are now two years into facilitating cross-sectoral ecosystems and building holistic programs that look at the broader needs of marginalized groups in India and Bangladesh.
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Innovation Challenge to futureproof the female workforce in Bangladesh

In a unique partnership, the H&M Foundation, BRAC and The Asia Foundation launch the “STITCH for RMG Global Innovation Challenge” – an international virtual competition aimed at sourcing tech-based innovations to spur positive impact on women employed within the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh. Application is now open and to be submitted by 25 November 2021.
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Putting spotlight on the friends you have but never knew

Waste pickers serve an important societal function by picking up, cleaning, sorting and segregating recyclable waste and selling it further up the value chain. But they lack social acceptance and dignity. Creating societal recognition of their work as having economic and environmental value is important. As part of our initiative Saamuhika Shakti, BBC Media Action have launched “Invaluables” – a communication initiative designed to shift perceptions about waste picking and informal waste pickers in Bengaluru, India.
Maria Bystedt, Strategy Lead at H&M Foundation
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Sometimes going forward means taking a step back

We aim to make lasting, positive changes in the world, and through the years we have improved the lives for millions of people across the world. However, even with the best intentions, things don’t always go as planned. By challenging ourselves and our partners to think innovatively to find improved solutions, we might triumph with one thing and nose-dive with another. It’s a learning process. “As so often, the biggest insights seem obvious once you reach them,” says Maria Bystedt at H&M Foundation.