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H&M is to launch its first-ever STEM initiative in the UK this month in partnership with not-for-profit charity Stemettes.

The brand says it is committed to levelling up the STEM playing field while driving forward sustainable fashion solutions. The new initiative aims to inspire women and non-binary people to reach for roles in STEM and will focus on ‘sustainability and style’. Participants will explore STEM’s contribution to a more sustainable fashion future through a panel and networking event, a hackathon, and one-to one mentoring by H&M’s STEM role models who come from a range of fields including artificial intelligence, customer centric technology, assortment and product development.

“Science, technology, engineering, and maths help drive creative thinking and innovation making them crucial industries to delivering a sustainable fashion future. This is why H&M UK has partnered with award-winning social enterprise Stemettes to inspire and support young women and non-binary people to reach for roles in STEM and support this mission,” a H&M spokesperson told Just Style exclusively.

The programme marks a key step in H&M’s quest to become more inclusive and diverse, with the brand noting representation of women and non-binary people in the increasingly digitalised STEM fields is an important equality issue that needs readdressing, since these groups have been historically under-represented.

H&M’s partnership with Stemettes in the UK will be followed by a series of STEM programs being rolled out around the world by H&M Group.

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Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M, adds: “This is about the future and how we bring tech, science and data into the core of what we do. I think through this programme, we could position ourselves and attract future talent which will be a core competence in future.”

H&M Group spoke to Just Style towards the end of last year about how new technologies hold the key to a bright future within the fashion industry