H&M has become the second major retail brand to tell Ecotextile News that it will not be using any cotton in its clothing which has been sourced from the Omo Valley in Ethiopia. H&M’s announcement follows closely on the back of Tchibo’s statement last week in which the German company said that Ethiopian Cotton Made in Africa will now be its only source of Ethiopian cotton in its products due to concerns about cotton projects in the Omo Valley. Ayka Investment, the Turkish business heavily involved in the Ethiopian textile industry, is now withdrawing its investment in cotton production in the Lower Omo Valley on the advice Tchibo.
H&M told Ecotextile News: “H&M does not accept land grabbing. It is a violation of human rights and in conflict with United Nations principles as well as our own human rights policy. Due to this, we have required our suppliers to ensure that our products do not consist of cotton from the Ethiopian region Omo Valley, where there is an increased risk of agricultural land having been subjected to land grabbing. We have had a close dialogue with our suppliers in Ethiopia and all our suppliers have signed a written commitment to not use any cotton from Omo Valley. We are continuously monitoring the orders to ensure that these commitments are fulfilled.