A Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing




Founded in 1947, H&M Group is a global design company with 4,702 stores in 76 markets and 56 online markets. At H&M Group, the team believes in making great design available to everyone. And its family of brands and business ventures offer customers around the world a wealth of fashion, beauty, accessories and homeware, as well as modern menus with fresh and local produce at some of the brands’ in-store eateries.

But design is so much more than just products; it’s about clever design processes, efficient product flows, creating experiences that enrich, and smart solutions that benefit all their customers. Sustainability is at the core of the business and the team will continue to push for change and lead the way towards a more inclusive and sustainable fashion future.

The Swedish fashion brand has an interesting history. In 1946 thirty-year-old Swedish entrepreneur Erling Persson went on a road trip across the United States. The following year Persson opened a new womenswear store in Västerås- Sweden and named it ‘Hennes’ – Swedish for ‘Hers.’ This was followed by a store in Sweden’s capital Stockholm in 1952 and another in 1954.

The Fifties closed with the opening of a flagship in central Stockholm.In 1968 Hennes acquired Stockholm-based hunting apparel and fishing equipment retailer Mauritz Widforss and the brand name changed to Hennes and Mauritz. This was the beginning of men’s and children’s clothing.. leading to H&M offering stylish apparel for the entire family.

There was no looking back. By 1969 Hennes & Mauritz had opened forty-two stores. During these decades, the international growth trajectory began taking shape. Norway came first, followed by Denmark, U.K. and Switzerland.In 1973 Hennes & Mauritz began retailing underwear. And the growth pace increased even further.. with five or six new stores opening every year.

In 1974 Hennes & Mauritz was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. The same year, the stores were rebranded with the abbreviation H&M. In the late Seventies, modern teenagers get their own version of H&M as the Impuls concept was launched, inspired by U.S. denim stores.

In the Eighties, the foundation was laid for global expansion. New openings included the first H&M stores in Germany and Netherlands. Long before the term e-commerce was even born, sale of H&M fashion move into the customer’s homes through the acquisition of Swedish mail order company Rowells in 1980. In 1982 – 35 years after the company welcomed its second-CEO- Stefan Persson.

In the Nineties traditional newspaper advertising was largely replaced by billboards and the famous annual Christmas underwear campaigns were launched in 1990 featuring supermodel Elle Macpherson. Throughout the Nineties models from The Big Six – Elle Macpherson, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista – were hired in H&M’s campaigns. It was the mark of a truly International fashion brand.

In 1998 H&M began offering online shopping and the expansion of H&M in Europe continued on a rapid scale. By the end of the decade there were H&M stores in several European countries including France, where the first H&M store opened 1998 in Paris In 2000, a major H&M flagship store opened on Fifth Avenue in New York. The opening of the first store in the U.S. marked the start of the expansion outside Europe.

H&M and Karl Lagerfeld took the world of fashion by surprise in 2004, teaming up to show that design isn’t a question of price. Per WWD: “The chance to buy $49 blouses and $129 sequinned tuxedo jackets from one of the most famous designers on the planet not only unleashed retail pandemonium — it had a seismic effect on the entire fashion system: breaking down barriers between luxury and mass; democratising design in a new way, and foreshadowing an era of rampant collaborations, drops and pop-up concepts.” Since this first designer collaboration fashion giants like Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney were invited to make their design accessible to fashion fans globally.

H&M then travelled far east, opening its first stores in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2007. Acquisitions were key to growth. Weekday, Monki and Cheap Monday were welcomed to the H&M group through the purchase of FaBric Scandinavien AB. In 2000 Rolf Eriksen was appointed CEO following which Karl-Johan Persson took over the reins in 2009.

Circa February 2013 H&M began offering patrons a voucher in exchange for used garments. Donated garments were to be processed by I:CO, a retailer that repurposes and recycles used clothing with the goal of creating a zero waste economy. In April 2014 H&M teamed with Canopy, a nonprofit, to remove endangered and ancient forests from their dissolvable pulp supply chain for their viscose and rayon fabrics.

The H&M Foundation, a nonprofit, was established in 2014 to fund projects that improve humanitarian and environmental issues within the fashion industry. The Persson family, the founders and owners of H&M, reportedly invested $180 million in the foundation. One of the foundation’s projects includes the Green Machine, a recycling technology that would allow clothing to be recycled in a similar way to aluminum can recycling. In August 2015, the H&M Foundation announced that it will award the Global Change Award- a million-euro annual prize- to advance recycling technology and techniques within the fashion industry. In 2021, H&M Foundation launched a virtual clothing collection named “The Billion Dollar Collection” that featured ten sustainable fashion innovation startups.

In 2022 H&M Group introduced the latest climate targets to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 56 per cent by 2030, and by 90 per cent by 2040, and in the same year achieve net-zero. And, the newest H&M sports brand ‘H&M Move’ was launched worldwide. Today, H&M Group is present in more than 75 markets worldwide, of which almost 60 also offer online sales. And the reins is in the hands of Helena Helmersson: the first woman to pilot one of the four largest fashion groups in the world.


From its very first day in 1947, the vision of H&M has been about making fashion and the joy it can bring accessible to everyone — democratising what had previously been a privilege of the few. The fashion brand also supports a circular fashion industry with net-zero climate impact. The team envisions becoming net-zero across its value chain by 2040, operating within planetary boundaries by having a net-positive impact on biodiversity and scaling circular models and systems for its products, supply chains and customer journeys.


H&M’s mission is that people aspire to enjoy fashion and the retailer hence must be dedicated to making fashion accessible for all. Their sustainability efforts provide them with opportunities to foster innovation and enhance their customer offerings, ensuring they continually meet and exceed customer expectations. To seize these opportunities, H&M consistently challenges itself, scrutinises long term goals and seeks fresh approaches to conducting business that disentangles their growth from the consumption of finite natural resources. They make strategic investments in new materials, technology, and business models to lead transformative changes in their product creation and recycling processes, as well as in how their customers engage with fashion and design.

The brand’s commitment extends to every facet of their operations including resource usage, reuse practices, working relationships with people, and the standards they set for their suppliers, all of which contribute to the social and environmental narrative of their products. H&M’s goal is to empower their customers to comprehend and participate in this narrative, enabling them to make informed choices and perceive sustainable options as the most appealing and attractive ones. As the fashion industry redefines itself and evolves, H&M is also in a constant state of transformation. They have dedicated over two decades to enhancing the sustainability of their business, continually refining and adapting their strategies to address emerging challenges and incorporate new insights. Their commitment to ongoing learning, investment and action is resolute.

Products and Services

Hennes & Mauritz AB engages in the sale of clothing, accessories, footwear, cosmetics, and home textiles. The company products include accessories, underwear, cosmetics, sportswear, and other apparels for men, women, and kids. Its brands include H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, H&M Home, and ARKET.

Key Team

Karl-Johan Persson (Chair of the Board of Directors)
Stina Bergfors (Board Member)
Anders Dahlvig (Board Member)
Lena Patriksson Keller (Board Member)
Christian Sievert (Board Member)
Niklas Zennström (Board Member)
Danica Kragic Jensfelt (Board Member)