SwedCham HK’s Sustainability Platform consists of 15-20 companies, all committed to adopt sustainable business practices in Hong Kong and beyond. We have given the committee members and other friends of SwedCham HK a chance to further explain their ambitions and thoughts on the subject. Their views are presented as a series of sustainability stories on our website every week. This week’s story comes from Malin Lundahl, Sustainability manager at H&M greater China.
How would you describe the way you work with sustainability in your company today?
– We at H&M want to lead the change towards a circular and climate positive fashion future. This means that we work with sustainability at a very large scale and in a broad way – focusing on all the steps in the value chain of a product. The textile industry faces massive challenges and as one of the biggest fashion brands in the world, we have a great responsibility and opportunity to drive positive change. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes a lot of business sense as we will not be able to cater to the needs of our future customers by simply continuing to conduct business as normal.
At H&M we have worked with sustainability for more than 20 years and we will keep on pushing this agenda, both for us and for the whole fashion industry. We are on a journey towards a sustainable fashion future together with our customers, and many great partners in the industry, and I feel hopeful that we will get there!
Tell us about your own journey within sustainability!
– My journey with sustainability began in childhood. Growing up on the island of Gotland in Sweden, I spent my childhood in the countryside and witnessed both the positive and negative impact humans could have on the environment. I also grew up with my grandmother Louise running her own fashion store. This is where my passion for sustainable fashion first took root. As my interest grew, I took a few courses in sustainability as part of my Master of Science degree, and while it was not the focus of my degree, I always had dreams of working with sustainability in the back of my head. After my university years, I spent a few years in wet labs doing basic research before moving into product development at H&M. After 6 years in our production organization, I moved over to working with sustainability full-time. I have now been a Sustainability manager for H&M Greater China retail since June 2019 and I find meaning and joy in working with how fashion can make our customers look and feel good and at the same time have a positive impact on the planet and the people living on it.
How do you believe that SwedCham HK can use its platform to spread awareness of environmental responsibility and sustainable practices?
– Sweden is a sustainability leader in many respects. By bringing Sweden’s best practices to Hong Kong I think SwedCham can support positive development in Hong Kong. Some example areas could be waste management (such as recycling), further addressing problems around plastics, or calling for quicker improvements in the energy sector.
How would you like to help make Hong Kong and the world more sustainable?
– I would like to change the way fashion is made and enjoyed, together with our customers here in Hong Kong. To date, we have begun this undertaking by offering our H&M Conscious assortment, which is sustainable, affordable products made in sustainably sourced materials. We also reward sustainable behaviors, such as giving our customers a voucher if they hand in unwanted garments in our Garment Collecting program. As we proceed on this journey to a sustainable fashion future together with our customers, we will play an important role in empowering them with knowledge and offering sustainable shopping solutions.