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H&M Steps Up Efforts to Eliminate Water Pollution in Turkey

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Swedish-based fashion company H&M brings its sustainable mindset to Turkey’s Büyük Menderes river basin.

The brand teams up again with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to bring a new water sustainability initiative to Turkey, to help with its water pollution problem and give the country a sustainable, clean water supply.

The area in question plays home to a wide variety of industries, like agriculture and textile operations, which can contribute to environmental issues. Despite being slammed last month for using factories with dirty viscose production, H&M has worked to shed fast fashion’s reputation for unsustainable manufacturing processes.

The new initiative brings together policy makers and other companies in Turkey to focus on clean production technologies in the textile industry, while showing the importance of water stewardship.

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“Being one of Turkey’s largest textile buyers, H&M group has a strong incentive to influence the development of more sustainable water use in the country’s textile industry,” said Anna Gedda, H&M head of sustainability. “In addition to the work we do on a regular basis to improve water management practices in all of our facilities, we will engage our suppliers in cleaner production programs in the basin and try to inspire others by sharing best practices.”

H&M and WWF first teamed up in 2011 to focus on environmental issues pertaining to water and the textile industry. The companies have worked together in the past to make strides in sustainability in China and Bangladesh. Now, as Turkey experiences a booming textile industry, it faces major risks from pollution, poor water management and weak regulations, according to Daniel Robertsson, head of corporate engagement at WWF Sweden.

“Collective action is needed now to mitigate these risks,” he said. “WWF and H&M group have already helped to strengthen water management in China and Bangladesh and we believe our partnership will contribute to similar improvements in Turkey.”

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