The world needs more people like Hanna Hallin.

She’s at the forefront of the sustainability world and has been in leadership roles at H&M, most recently Treadler, H&M Groups’ B2B supply chain service. Her political science, economics, and statistics education, coupled with a heart for activism, helped her quickly rise through the ranks in diverse organizations that included a youth non-profit, a think tank, and even the Swedish Red Cross.

Hanna’s talent for leading others coupled with her desire to fight for the planet made her transition to H&M a seamless one. Lest that surprise you, Hanna isn’t the only one who is taking action today to create a better future for us all, H&M has its own bold and ambitious goals across the areas of materials, water, emissions, and more. 

What made this opportunity particularly attractive to Hanna were the unparalleled resources and capacity to make a difference. 

Hanna went on to spend the next seven years working in global roles for H&M in Europe and Asia in changing roles. During that time, Hanna fought for better working conditions for the factory workers and women employed by the business. She also worked on cutting edge ideas and technologies for renewable energy. And then, in the summer of 2020, Hanna moved to Treadler, part of the larger H&M Group with the vision to “use the group’s size and scale for good and lead the change toward a more sustainable future”. There she is the Global Sustainability Manager. In the best way possible, it’s like being at a startup, but within a larger organization.

As a fellow entrepreneur in the sustainability space, I can tell you that meeting Hanna was the highlight of my week. 

Hearing about her work and also H&M’s commitment to driving real change was truly inspiring. We talked about the H&M Foundation — whose Global Change Award gives 1 million euros annually to startups like mine who are fighting to make the industry more sustainable. The winners participate in a one-year tailor-made Innovation Accelerator Program. Last year’s winners included companies that focus on zero-waste tailoring, lab-grown cotton, and greenhouse gases converted into sustainable polyester. But besides GCA, they do hand out large amounts to more established innovations closing the loop in fashion.

It’s then that I realized just how much science and engineering are an integral part of a sustainable future for fashion. 

As much as we all know the urgency of our climate challenges, we as individual consumers, like H&M, have to own our contribution to fashion’s sometimes harmful past and claim our responsibility to make that future a brighter one. Lasting, systemic change takes time. We have to be patient. We have to be smart. We have to do hard things. As Hanna said, her friends like to try “Vegan-anuary” — a vegan January. It isn’t fun at first, but then you start to enjoy some of the foods and then adopt some of these new values. This is the way to approach change in attitude and beliefs. Not by yelling, preaching, or shaming but by showing, sharing, and leading by example.

One of our core values at greenlist is “love is love and love wins.” We live by this value everyday; it guides our decisions, our partnerships and reminds us of what is important.

(Besides clothes, of course.)

We hope your values resonate with ours and that you’ll join us as we grow.

XO,
Jess