H&M’s Material Ethics policy

We recognise the importance of securing our supply of raw materials from a material ethics perspective. Therefore, we are committed to ensure that the natural raw materials used in our products are produced in a responsible way that preserve natural resources, help maintain biodiversity, contribute to sustainable development and respect human rights. No vulnerable or endangered species must be used.

Our main focus will be to gain traceability and to increase the use of credible global sustainability standards on these materials. In addition to this, we also have material specific requirements:

Wood based products and other forest materials

  • H&M does not allow wood based products and other forest materials, including but not limited to wood, paper, bamboo and rattan originating from vulnerable or endangered species.
  • H&M only accept virgin wood based products and forest materials originating from known and legal sources.
  • For wood based products and forest materials such as wood, paper, bamboo and rattan originating from countries with tropical rainforest or ancient and/or endangered forests, H&M require a certificate from FSC, Forest Stewardship Council.
  • H&M will require full traceability on all wood and forest materials by 2017.

Man-made cellulosic fibres

  • H&M will require full traceability on all man-made cellulosic fibre and fabrics by 2017.
  • H&M will only source man-made cellulosic fibre and fabrics from outside of ancient and/or endangered forests by 2017.
  • H&M will promote the use of fabrics that come from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantations or FSC certified forestry found outside all ancient and endangered forests and do not come from illegal logging or endangered species habitat.
  • We encourage the development of alternate fibre sources for man-made cellulosic fabrics.

Bio-based materials and bioplastics

  • H&M only accept bio-based materials and bioplastics made from food crops if sustainability performance is better compared to traditional fibre crops and does not distort food markets. Currently, the above means that corn, soy, milk and rice are not allowed as raw materials.
  • Sugarcane certified according to the Bonsucro standard is an acceptable raw material since it includes important environmental and social impacts of sugar cane production.
  • H&M accept bio-based materials made from agricultural residues and by-products from food crop production.

Palm oil

  • H&M buys GreenPalm certificates for the total volume of palm oil derivatives used in H&M products each year in order to contribute to the development of a more sustainable palm oil production.
  • From 2016, H&M will only accept certified sustainable palm oil (segregated or mass balance) in our products containing palm oil, with an exception for products containing palm oil derivatives.


  • H&M does not allow silk originating from India due to poor working conditions in the Indian silk industry.

Shell and pearl

  • H&M does not allow shell or pearl products originating from endangered species.
  • H&M only allow cultured pearls from farming cultivations.


  • As a commitment to the health and safety of workers in the textile industry, H&M decided in 2010 to stop buying sandblasted jeans and to switch to denim that is given the same worn look through alternative methods.
  • All goods are labelled with their country of origin.
  • Prints on H&M’s goods shall not cause racial, sexual, political or religious offence.
  • H&M children’s clothing should be comfortable and practical. H&M strives not to sell children’s clothing that might be perceived as provocative.


Here you find the list of our various policies

Sustainability Reports

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