Seven Things You Didn’t Know About H&M

We all love internationally-acclaimed H&M and their obscenely low prices, but how much do we really know about it? Get to know the incredible fast fashion mega chain you claim to love so much below:

1. H&M wasn’t always H&M. When the brand was first established in 1947, it was an exclusive women’s retailer under the name Hennes – Swedish translation for hers. It wasn’t until 1968 that company founder Erling Presson expanded into menswear, purchasing hunting store Mauritz Widforss and rechristening the brand ‘Hennes & Mauritz’ – later contracted to H&M.

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1968 when the brand started to include Menswear. Photo Credit: Style Canvas


2. H&M founder Erling Persson started out selling cheese. The future CEO was the son of a butcher, selling cheese in his father’s store. He was inspired to enter fashion after a trip to the US where he discovered women’s dresses being sold at low prices; thus, the idea for Hennes was born. It was a simple business idea that turned the cheese whiz into a fashion mogul.

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Erling Persson. Photo Credit: Style Canvas


3. H&M is a regular attraction for big-name designers.  Heads of high fashion often team with the brand to create affordable ranges for the young consumers H&M regularly attracts. They first collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, and upon release of the collection many of the items sold out within the hour.

It was such an unmitigated success the company went on to pair with noted designers Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Madonna, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel and more recently, Alexander Wang. The Wang collection, as predicted, was incredibly successful, including here in Australia.

4. You can buy home goods at H&M. Wait, WHAT? Maybe some of you knew this, but I only just found this out. The store sells everything from living room pillows to bathmats and even napkins. Look out Ikea! It’s mighty convenient, too: you can grab all of this home goodness online.

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Newest Homeware Collection. Photo Credit: Official H&M Website


5. Every H&M employer must work in store at least 2 days a year. Yep, that includes the upper brass and even CEO himself, Karl-Johan Persson. Persson told the Manilla Bulletin his presence “slowed down the pace at the cashier because I found it hard to do the de-alarming, folding the clothes in a nice way, and putting them in a bag.”

6. The best selling women’s item is the skinny trouser and for men, the white shirt. Simple, but classic sellouts. “We’ve been wanting to try looser trousers or something with flare. We want to give the customer something different, but no, they want their skinny trousers!” says Andreas Löwenstam, head of H&M’s womenswear department.

7. H&M has a strict commitment of social responsibility and sustainability. The company is environmentally sustainable and proactive in making changes within their production line. This includes training cotton farmers to use better techniques, helping to save millions of litres of water each year. They even encourage their customers to participate, having been one of the first companies to offer their clientele the opportunity to bring in unwanted clothes as a means of recycling – ensuring we can all do our bit for the environment.

It has to be said, though: their manufacturing processes have been less than socially responsible in the past. Hopefully their adherence to a new worldwide safety policy will alleviate past failings and hold them closer to the standards we – and they – expect from the brand. The world is watching, H&M!

Now that you feel like you know the brand on a whole new level, you can be more informed during your next experience with the Swedish powerhouse. Below is a stream-of-consciousness article provided via Buzzfeed. You can check the full article here, or take a peek at out our giggle-inducing favourites below:


Oh, H&M’s got a sale!
Doesn’t H&M always have a sale?
Might as well just pop in, have a look.
I need a new dress anyway, right?
What happened here?
I just stepped on like seven blouses.
Definitely not thinking about how many times the H&M blouses I own were stepped on.

Oh, it feels so comfy.
It comes in two colours, should probably get both.
Bikinis are on sale, the time is now.
My body is not ready.
Here’s a nice dress, I’ll try that too.
And maybe this other one.

Enjoy, shopaholics!