H&M Named One of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute

When you think H&M, what comes to mind? Trendy fashion? Good prices? Miranda Kerr? All of the above? The word you should really be associating with the retailer is ethics. Why? Because the Ethisphere Institute has named H&M one ofthe most ethical companies in the world. And now we can all feel pretty great about how often we shop there.

Ethisphere Institute is an independent research organization that "promotes [the] best practices in corporate ethics and compliance" according to their website. Each year the Institute compiles a list of companies that are doing ethics seriously right, and a 2014 overall honoree happens to be our beloved fast-fashion brand H&M.

So what criteria does Ethisphere use to evaluate their winners? Brands are scored in five categories: ethics and compliance; reputation, leadership, and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; and the culture of ethics. According to a statement from H&M, the award is given to companies who "understand the correlation between ethics, reputation, and daily interactions with their brand."

This might sound like complicated industry jargon, but from a consumer vantage point we can see that H&M makes a solid effort to be responsible in their manufacturing process, at least from an environmental standpoint. The retailer has been making ethical little shoppers out of all of us since 2011 with lines like the Conscientious Collection, the A-list counterpart Conscientious Exclusive, and the collection of denim products made from recycled clothing.

Truth be told, a lot of eco-conscious labels are a bit too pricy for your average fashion-lover. H&M gives us friendly fashion for less and we're glad to know the brand is not just putting up a facade of ethical behavior but actually living up to it. We can all keep on shopping at H&M in good consciousness!