The H&M Foundation is an independent foundation that supports H&M's sustainability work. Their three current areas of focus are clean water, education and strengthening women.

Water, sanitation and hygiene in schools

In the world’s poorest communities, millions of students don’t have access to water or toilets at school. Every day, many will miss out on their education because they are collecting water or are too sick to go to class. Tragically, around 500,000 children die every year from water-related diseases. 

When schools don't have toilets, girls miss school when their periods start. And it's hard to find good teachers who want to work somewhere without running water or toilets. Economic growth and gender equality suffer as education is disrupted for whole generations of children, especially girls.

The global programme

The H&M Foundation and WaterAid are working together on a three-year global programme that will bring safe water, hygiene and toilets to 250,000 of the world's poorest students. The partnership will also engage with decision-makers at national and international levels to drive change, and ensure these basic provisions are integrated into national education policies and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

After the first year of the programme, we have reached 75,000 students with access to safe, clean water, sanitation and hygiene promotion.

The global programme is helping transform the futures of children like 12-year-old Sakshi from Mahoba, India.

12-year-old Saskhi, student at Arya Samaj Vidya Rani School in Mahoba, India.

"When the new toilets were built at my school, I used to turn on the taps and see how the water flowed. It felt really good," says Sakshi. "Now, we don’t even have to miss our studies."

Transforming access to water and toilets in Bangladesh

Alongside their global programme, the H&M Foundation and WaterAid are also running a local project in Bangladesh. The project is a result of H&M’s Holiday Campaign in 2013, when the H&M Foundation made a donation to WaterAid's work in communities for every £10 added to an H&M gift card over Christmas.

Toilets, including facilities for people with disabilities, at Gabtoli Bus Terminal, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Toilets, including facilities for people with disabilities, at Gabtoli Bus Terminal, Dhaka.

Through the H&M Foundation’s support, WaterAid will be able to improve the health, safety and dignity of around four million people in Dhaka with new or renovated public toilets in 30 different locations.

Stories from our programmes

Kiran holding up a picture board in a classroom in Pakistan.

Taking a stand on 'a delicate issue'
1 April 2016

In the face of myths and secrecy surrounding menstruation, hygiene outreach worker Kiran takes to the classroom to tackle the topic.

In her hands
17 August 2015

How 12-year-old Sakshi is transforming her community in rural India with good hygiene.

Yemisrach, 7, Ethiopia.

Yemisrach’s story
20 February 2015

Having clean water and safe toilets at school will give Yemisrach the best possible start in life – and the chance to enjoy her childhood.