H&M’s Anna Gedda: Fair Wages Are Something the Whole Industry Must Drive


The first thing you should know about Anna Gedda, H&M’s head of sustainability, is that she’s unflappable. Speaking in clipped, dulcet tones from a couch at the Westin Paris, where the Swedish retailer held court with a cadre of journalists last month, Gedda is serenity personified. Certainly she cannot be immune to the slings and arrows of her employer’s detractors, particularly those who regularly accuse the world’s second-largest fashion company of lip service.

Just last week, Guardian journalist Lucy Siegel pointed out that the 1,000 tons of clothes H&M wants to recycle is about the “same amount of clothes a brand of [that] size pumps out into the world in 48 hours.” The questions we had for Gedda, as you can imagine, were innumerable, but with only 10 minutes to spare, we decided to hone in one of the larger sticking points: H&M’s goal to deliver a “fair living wage” to more than 850,000 textile workers in the developing world by 2018.

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