In an effort to support education, clean water and women empowerment programs, H&M’s Conscious Foundation will donate over $28 million to global programs that enact change. The chosen innovators include UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE, which strive to implement new policies for long lasting change in each of these areas. Starting in February 204, the funds will be distributed between the three programs, in H&M’s support of sustainable development.
The H&M Conscious Foundation was formed in the company’s effort to create a more sustainable and ethical mission, focusing specifically on strengthening women, enabling education opportunities and offering clean water solutions in developing countries- many of which host H&M’s manufacturing facilities.
The portion of the $28 million grant given to UNICEF will focus on education and early childhood development with an education program. With the funds, the program hopes to give 73,600 children in need a preschool education by 2017, preparing them for a life of learning. WaterAid’s portion will give 250,000 schoolchildren access to clean and safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2017. WaterAid will also work to create clean water programs within local and national governments. CARE will use its grant to give 100,000 women in developing communities access to tools, knowledge or skills to empower them economically and socially by 2017.
The three key areas for allocating funds were chosen online by H&M employees and customers who voted in October 2013.