Child labour: H&M bans cotton from Syria and Turkmenistan

The Swedish giant announced that, as of December, all of its suppliers will have to pledge not to use cotton originating from Turkmenistan or Syria.
H&M Studio Spring-Summer 2016 - H&M Studio SS16

The objective is to fight against forced labour and the exploitation of children, notably in the harvesting of the white fibre. A fact which notably pushed H&M to adopt the same policy with regards to Uzbekistan. The country had been denounced by NGOs for its employment of children in the cotton industry.

H&M did not mention this, but the decision is equally to be linked with the so-called Islamic State which, according to several observers, has taken over the Syrian textile industry. The profits from this industry would thus be indirectly financing the organisation's terrorist activities.

The H&M group reported, for its fiscal year closed at the end of November 2015, a figure of €22.7 billion in sales, equivalent to a 19% rise (+11% in local currencies). The group is planning to open 425 new stores in 2016.

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