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

Feb 23, 2016
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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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