H&M Sustainable Fast Fashion?

Friday, March 11, 2011

You only need to read articles here, here, here and here to confirm Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M does not have a reputation for being an ethically sound fashion outlet. Is this set to change with H&M's new Conscious Collection launching in April this year?

"The collection, which is for men and children is made from environmentally – adapted and greener materials such as organic cotton, Tencel® and recycled polyester."

H&M’s designers have been inspired by different shades of white, one of the most important colours this Spring. A minimalist, tailored look is combined with romantic lace, Broderie Anglaise, frills and draping."

“It’s not just about organic cotton any more, the possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco smarter materials are huge now. By designing recurring Conscious Collections we have the opportunity to show in a variety of ways what’s possible using more sustainable fabrics,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of design. “Shades of white are the season’s biggest fashion trend and it feels right for this collection. White creates a romantic feeling with lace and Broderie Anglaise, but is also the basic colour in a sporty, relaxed style and in a preppy tailored look for men.”

*Quotes from H&M Conscious Collection press release

Recent Academy Award winner Natalie Portman wears a £29.95 dress from H&M Conscious Collection range to Vanity Fair's Campaign Hollywood event last month. Natalie chose a pure white smock dress with lace-sleeves, made from 100% recycled polyester.

I am sure this Portman-endorsed smock will be a sell out when it hits H&M stores when The Conscious Collection launches come 14th April, but what are your thoughts readers? Does H&M's new sustainable outlook take away the guilt of buying new fashion from one of the worlds largest growing clothing retailers, and pioneer of fast fashion?


Dogstar Bazaar said...

Oh, this is a tough one which I'll need to think through more but for now.... It seems you either produce clothes ethically or you don't. It seems a bit hypocritical to add it as a range amongst the rails and rails of other mass produced clothing they have accross the world.
Don't get me wrong, I do also buy from Target, Kmart... I just think they are doing a bit of a half arsed ploy to appear more enviromentally savvy than they are or will be.
It's as if they are trying to get a bigger slice of the cake!

Yasmeen said...

interesting. i'm curious to see where they'll go from here.

it's hard to judge when these types of announcements are made from mega-companies. but even if they ARE just trying to get more $, like dogstar bazaar suggested (which could be entirely true), at least they're trying to be more eco-friendly. it brings the issue to light for people who are as yet unexposed, which causes them to think about it for future purchases.

time will tell, i guess!

Spotted Sparrow said...

I will probably continue to buy from 'greener' sources, but am glad they will be offering somewhat more ethical choices for the masses.

Something Else said...

mmmmm...recycled polyester - that sounds like it'd be nice to wear. Not. I actually have a personal ban on H&M (OK - I did slip up once or twice to buy a couple of "organic" pieces for the bubba) due to the fact that they were destroying and then throwing away perfectly good clothes that they couldn't sell. SO grossly wasteful. Don't think I will be shopping there any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Super interesting! Seems like a neat idea for them, but I'm guessing that if they see a big response to that collection they'll do more of this sort of thing.
I don't typically shop at H&M (or do much shopping in general) because the quality isn't good enough to invest my money. Sure, it's trendy and cheap, but their stuff lasts about a season. I don't see anything about the organic materials being made with more durable techniques, so I can't assume this is any better.
Thank you for posting this, this is good to know!

glam.spoon said...

I've purchased from H&M in the past and have been satisfied with their pricing, quality and wearability. I actually thought they already had a line of recycled dresses out there. I think they deserve an E for effort anyway.

Unknown said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting, and voting. It's an interesting one.

RosMari Brand said...

They are pretty cute...I would love to pull off any one of those...can I be bold and say that I don't think that smock looks very good on Natalie...it makes her look kinda short. However, it's super cool that she's wearing something inexpensive rather than those dresses that no average person could possibly afford.

Unknown said...

RosMari - you've got a good point, at least Natalie chose a very reasonably priced dress to a Hollywood event, rather than a ridiculously priced elaborate gown.

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