H&M is trying to invalidate greenwashing allegations

Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M is again being condemned. A recent report by the business portal of Quartz shows serious errors in the company’s (marketing) communication of the transparency index Higg. The report claims that although the company was using a scorecard system to inform customers about the environmental soundness of each product, more than half of products were presented as being better for the environment than they actually were.

The scorecards were based on the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI) by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) of which the company is a member. The Quartz report shows that the H&M scorecards only use averages of the environmental impact of types of textile, instead of giving the full environmental impact of a particular finished piece of clothing. Some of the presented product information is even mixing up data, such as promoting products that used 30 percent more water as using 30 percent less water. Thus, the SAC version of the scorecard was being contradicted.