H&M has announced the edition of Beyoncé to the H&M for Water Collection campaign. Worldwide, 11% of people do not have access to clean water, and 700,000 children die each year from water-related diseases. Many impoverished people are forced to spend long hours to find water on a daily basis. Much of their lives are centered on this attempt to survive, a process that has its own costs to their physical health. Searching for water can result in head, neck, and spine damage, especially when they must carry water for miles and miles to their home. Overall, these families have little time for other ventures, such as work or education, and therefore are stuck in and endless cycle of poverty.
The lack of access to clean water, however, is not the only issue related to water. There is often a lack of sanitation; 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation facilities. In addition, hygiene education is slim. Education on hygiene can focus on personal hygiene, such as encouraging children to wash their hands regularly. This simple but powerful knowledge could help save many lives each year, since they would be reducing diarrheal diseases by one third. Disease and poverty are two issues closely related to water. The combination of bad sanitation and poor hygiene will often create a water source that is incredibly contaminated. Contaminant organisms often spread diseases to families that cannot afford clean water. While poverty keeps these at-risk households from moving to a better area with improved sanitation, the constant search to find water keeps families from earning the money necessary to escape poverty.
The H&M for Water Collection fundraising raises money for an organization, WaterAid, that directly combats these various issues. The campaign, launched by H&M and Beyoncé, will occur throughout the summer. Beyoncé will be the spokesperson for H&M on various television commercials, and the face for print ads that advertise the H&M summer collection. These clothes will be on sale in May, both in the H&M stores and online. Beyoncé also took part in a photo shoot with the concept of fire, water, earth and wind, and the emotions of women that go with those elements. The Head of Design in H&M, Ann-Sofie Johansson, commented that Beyoncé wore everything necessary for “fun in the sun” for the campaign, including a flowing sundress to make a clear statement. The photo used in this article is just one of the pictures taken during that shoot.
The most important part of H&M and Beyoncé’s new partnership, however, is not the beautiful clothes or bikinis, but what those clothes will do; the H&M for Water Collection is a collection of beachwear, swimwear, dresses, and other summer clothes. When sold, 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the H&M for WaterAid organization. H&M, together with WaterAid, has raised nearly $4 million in the past decade, and plans to continue to fundraise with this collection. The pictures of Beyoncé were taken in the Bahamas by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The commercial was directed by Jonas Akerlund.
The commercial for the H&M for Water Collection campaign follows the same concept as the photo shoot. It focuses on the four basic elements and their different natures. The commercial will also launch Beyoncé’s new song called “Standing on the Sun.”
Overall, Beyoncé and H&M are not only selling a product and reflecting Social Corporate Responsibility, but they are helping the millions of people on this earth that do not have proper access to clean water.
– Corina Balsamo
Sources: Water Aid America, Water Aid USA, H&M
Photo: Fan Pop