Swedfund, a Swedish state owned risk capital company that invests in emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America announced that it will be supporting H&M through its expansion project in Ethiopia. According to the announcement, Swedfund is set to inject USD 8.6 million to H&M’s suppliers in Ethiopia and the partnership is getting ready for its kickoff this autumn. Their aim is to create a domestic textile industry that is both sustainable and responsible.
“Through this unique partnership with H&M, our goal is to contribute to develop the textile industry in Ethiopia, thus creating jobs with good working conditions that lift people out of poverty, especially women,” Anna Ryott, CEO at Swedfund reportedly stated.
The Swedish clothing giant H&M started working with Ethiopian suppliers this year with its plan to attract Africa’s middle class.
The partnership between the two bodies further developed during a joint trip to Ethiopia in May this year when the companies were examining factories together, a representative said.
“We have for many years worked in existing manufacturing countries to improve working conditions and environments. This experience is included with the establishment of cooperation with Ethiopian suppliers,” H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson said.
In this partnership, H&M will contribute expertise and knowledge of the textile market and will purchase products from suppliers that Swedfund will invest in.
This cooperation will also involve both parties setting standards for sustainable production and monitoring indicators such as water use and wages.