Fast fashion retailer H&M and Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS, have negotiated the terms of a new deal that promises the establishment of financial tools which would aid in the decarbonization efforts of the clothing brand.
A statement about the deal
was issued on Nov. 27, on the eve of COP28. The collaborative finance tool is intended to innovate fashion supply chains and ensure more sustainable production and distribution of H&M Group products. The tool has already been implemented at a manufacturing facility in India earlier this year.
The initiative is part of H&M Group’s sustainability pledge
, which was issued in 2019. According to their climate action plan, the fashion retailer aims to be carbon neutral, or net zero, by 2040. Some of the points in the plan include using renewable energy sources at their production facilities, reducing waste by employing a circular business model, and using technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), to increase efficiency.
Environmental activists are skeptical of the H&M decarbonization actions because of fast fashion’s fostering of inherently unsustainable consumerist behaviors. Yet it seems that the financial world believes in the trajectory of the retailer. Companies like McKinsey
are devising more generalized solutions for the fast fashion industry, and the business magazine Forbes
agrees with the use of technology to achieve carbon neutrality.
Despite the announcement of their collaboration, the full scope of the deal between H&M Group and DBS is yet to be revealed and implemented.