H&M closes some US stores, donates to civil rights groups

H&M

H&M closed 95 of its stores in the US today amid the protests against the killing of George Floyd in police custody and has donated $500,000 to support civil rights group.

The world’s second largest fashion retailer has 600 stores in the US but closed some temporarily due the protests.

In a statement signed by its CEO Helena Helmersson, the company said: “The recent killings of more members of the black community in the US leave us devastated and heartbroken. Their lives, and the lives of all black people taken by violence, mattered.”

As a further show of support H&M is to donate $500,000 to US civil rights and law firm the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The company said it was committed to taking steps to challenge racism and support colleagues, customers and communities.

Many fashion brands around the world took part in #blackouttuesday today to take a stand against racism by pressing pause on social media activity and posting only black screens on their Instagram pages.

George Floyd died while being arrested and restrained in Minneapolis on 25 May after a white police officer knelt on his neck leaving him unable to breathe. An official post-mortem described his death as a homicide.

The shocking act caused outrage in the US, and across the globe, and has led to days of sometimes violent protests.