H&M Foundation

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WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

For almost a decade, the H&M Foundation has been working with us at both a global and local scale to reach people with lasting clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Our partnership

The H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of H&M. Since 2014, the Foundation has collaborated with us to improve sustainable and inclusive access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) for communities around the world.

The global programme

In 2014, the H&M Foundation donated £5.4 million to a three-year programme to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to schools, reaching more than 250,000 of the world’s poorest students.

By working with a wide range of partners, the project helped develop and update national education policies, as well as influencing the global Sustainable Development Goals.


In 2017, the H&M Foundation donated another £5.4 million to our five-year sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene programme, SusWASH.

This initiative focused on strengthening the capacity and leadership of governments, civil society and local service providers, and informing national policy and practice.

In practical terms, this meant working across all levels to improve water and sanitation governance, coordination, planning, monitoring, financing, accountability and water resource management.

SusWASH took place in four countries: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Pakistan.

The Global Learning Report

Published in 2020, the Global Learning Report highlights our experiences and lessons from the SusWASH project, including some of the systemic barriers to WASH sustainability and inclusion, and ways to tackle them.

The report emphasises the need to design programmes that strengthen systems to achieve inclusive and sustainable WASH at scale.

Local projects

Alongside their work at a global scale, the Foundation also worked with us to deliver two local projects in Bangladesh.

The first was a £3.5 million project, which ran from 2013-19. It focused on improving the health, safety and dignity of millions of people in Dhaka, by renovating or building public toilets in 30 different locations in the city.

The second was a £1.4 million project, which ran from 2016-20. It improved drinking water, toilets and hygiene practices for more than 10,500 residents in Banglabazar, a low-income community located by the factories on the outskirts of Dhaka.

Water Life

In 2019 the H&M Foundation supported Ethiopian artist Aida Muluneh's Water Life exhibition, a series of striking images highlighting the reality of living without access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene, particularly for women and girls.

The shackles of limitations from Water Life collection by Aida Muluneh commissioned by WaterAid and supported by H&M Foundation
The Shackles of Limitations from Water Life – a collection by Aida Muluneh, commissioned by WaterAid and supported by the H&M Foundation
WaterAid/ Aida Muluneh

What our partners say

The H&M Foundation has a long-standing partnership with WaterAid and we are joined in our deep conviction that water, sanitation and hygiene are human rights that underpins so many aspects of development, such as health, gender equality, education and livelihoods.

WaterAid is innovative and ambitious in their aim to create sustainable systemic change. This goes hand in hand with our vision to be a catalyst for change, and we are thrilled to be able to support sustainable and inclusive programmes that really make a lasting difference for people.
Maria Bystedt, Global Programme Manager, H&M Foundation

Contact us

Interested in learning more about collaborating with us? Email [email protected] – we'd love to hear from you.