Throughout the years H&M has always been my go to brand and store of choice, I seen it as reliable, Affordable and fashionable. What more did I need to know? It was not until one night I watched a documentary called “The True Cost” that the many years of hard work H&M completed of building my perceived brand identity and worth all shattered in the space of ninety minutes. This documentary consists of heart wrenching moments and a clear insight to the quality of life giving by these multinational retail brands to the people that make the clothes for the world.
Below is a scientific ‘reliable’ article and statement issued by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Joseph Hansen regarding the decision of H&M and other retailers to sign a legally binding agreement to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh that we as readers would usually trust the honesty of the statements made.
“The UFCW applauds H&M and other retailers for accepting binding building safety standards at Bangladeshi garment factories following the recent fire and building collapse that killed more than 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh. By signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, H&M and other retailers are taking the high road and putting people before profits at their supplier factories.
After researching more into this current and very real-life global problem, I found many interesting articles on a website called Clean Clothes Campaign. An article titled “10 ways H&M is spinning the facts on worker safety” really confirmed the current problem with retail ethic’s and the importance of Brand building to such a well-known brand. When in fact in the Accord published reports there is no supplier factory of H&M in Bangladesh that meets the building safety standards of the Accord. H&M in summary have loosely stated their safety issues in statements that would avoid law suits being made against them and also that the everyday reader and customer would be happy to read. When in fact they are walking around the truth of what the working conditions and building safety actually is in Bangladesh for the clothes manufacturers.
In terms of brand building and as a previous fan of H&M, I now see the store name differently and my gut feeling when the store appears in clear sight in every built up place I visit around the world. No longer does my mind think convenience and reliability as it has been taking over with a brand image of selfishness, greed and power.
Statement by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Joseph Hansen Regarding the Decision by H&M and Other Retailers to Improve Workplace Safety in Bangladesh 2013, , New York.