FSC plays a big part in H&M’s sustainability commitments
International fashion brand H&M recently committed to source man-made cellulosic fibres used in their products from sustainable sources – particularly from non-ancient and endangered forests and preferencing FSC-certified forests – by the end of 2025. Through this pledge, the company sought to address forest depletion and deforestation. Fibres would also be sourced from recycled textiles and agricultural residues.
H&M is currently strengthening its sourcing policies and eliminating all fibres that are at high risk of originating from ancient and endangered forests. As a result, H&M is focusing on more sustainable man-made cellulosic (MMC) fibres for their fabrics. These MMC fibres are used to create viscose, lyocell and modal. They are made of dissolved pulp, which is mainly produced from wood.
H&M’s cellulosic fibre producers must be verified as low risk through a CanopyStyle audit, an independent verification assessment to help guide the fashion industry in making the most sustainable fibre purchasing choices and to develop solutions that preserve forests.
“We believe FSC to be the strongest certification system around to ensure responsible forest management,” says Madelene Ericsson, Environmental Sustainability Business Expert at H&M. “Through a combination of the CanopyStyle Audits and by using FSC certified material, we know that the wood fiber used in our products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. We are committed to increase our use of recycled and agricultural waste fibers and of FSC certified material and by end of 2025, all virgin wood based man-made cellulosic fiber should come from FSC certified sources and from producers who have confirmed low risk of sourcing from ancient and endangered forests through the CanopyStyle Audits.”
H&M joined the CanopyStyle initiative in 2014. CanopyStyle members comprise more than 170 global brands – such as Stella McCartney and Zara/Inditex. All participating brands commit to eliminating the use of MMC fibers from controversial sources.
In 2017, over 70 per cent of the global production of forest-based fibers already had CanopyStyle policies in place.
H&M also contributed to the development of an interactive tool, ForestMapper.
Created by Canopy, it visually represents ancient and endangered forests at a global scale. In this way, Forest Mapper helps partnering companies identify areas of potential sourcing risk and make more informed purchasing decision.