Fast fashion has apparently come under scrutiny for a number of reasons, but according to the CEO the latest is more on a social level. Karl-Johan Persson believes that "consumer-shaming will have terrible social consequences and not for the reasons most may think. After a recent report by the United Nations, it has been revealed that the clothing industry is responsible for about "10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more energy than aviation and shipping combined."
These numbers may be shocking to some, but for Persson, the Swedish billionaire CEO, a number he'd rather not be leaked to the public. As climate change becomes one of the world's most pressing issues of the moment, many activists are encouraging consumers to stop buying clothing and instead sustainable shopping. Obviously for retailers like H&M this poses a huge threat to their bottom line and executives such as Persson's are trying to curb this.
“We must reduce the environmental impact,” Persson told Bloomberg. “At the same time, we must also continue to create jobs, get better healthcare and all the things that come with economic growth.” H&M is no stranger to controversy having had a couple culturally insensitive and racist slip-ups in the recent past. They're also on the heels of a $4.8 billion loss in 2018 so it's not surprising why they're quick to defend in the climate change discussion.
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