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Supporting communities during COVID-19

As the pandemic continues to affect our lives and societies, initiatives within H&M are forming to support local communities. Donations, manufacturing of protective gear, apps to bring people together and sharing of the brand’s social media channels are some examples.

The ongoing pandemic is forcing countless healthcare workers to be on duty continuously, leaving them little time to get a fresh change of clothes between shifts. To meet this need, H&M is making in-kind donations of T-shirts, underwear and other items. So far, 32,000 products have been distributed to 18 hospitals in Turkey, and in Sweden hospitals have received 8,000 pairs of socks. Soon, hospital workers in the Hubei province in China will receive 11,000 garments.

Charity organisations see an increasing need for clothing and other textiles for vulnerable groups like low-income families, the elderly, refugees and homeless people. In Russia, H&M has donated 30,000 pieces of clothing to four charity organisations. One of them is the VERA Hospice Charity Fund that provides relief for terminally ill patients. As the virus is limiting visits to hospice facilities, it’s hard for patients to receive day-to-day items like clothes from their friends and families.

In the U.S., H&M is in the process of making an in-kind donation of more than two million dollars worth of products to several organisations, including Children’s Defense Fund, GLAM4GOOD, Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Nashville Rescue Mission. The product donation will include bedding, sheets, children’s and adult’s clothes, amongst other pieces, to help communities meet their needs. 

To include U.S. customers in our support to non-profit organisations, H&M has partnered with donor-focused platform Givz. For every $60 spent on, $10 will go to a charity of the customer’s choice, including the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief, and Meals on Wheels.

H&M has over 450 stores in China, nine of them in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak. To aid the affected community, H&M China has donated 1 million Chinese Yuan to the non-profit Wuhan Charity Federation. H&M China has also created an interactive platform on the social media platform WeChat, which allows users to send messages of gratitude to medical workers. 

During the pandemic, online communication is more important than ever. To share important messages and updates about health and safety, H&M has given several humanitarian organisations — including The Red Cross, WHO and UNICEF — access to utilise the brand’s social media channels which has a combined reach of 120 million users globally.

The need for humanitarian assistance will keep growing throughout the pandemic, and so will the number of initiatives within H&M to help tackle the effects of COVID-19.

Stay safe; stay well.

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