H&M Conscious collection 2016
“H&M Launches a Line of Wedding (and Party) Dresses Inspired by the Louvre
The brand’s ecofriendly Conscious Exclusive range is inspired by 300 years of fashion and art history.”
I have criticized H&M´s marketing methods and business model in this blog on several occations. “We need to not only make fashion sustainable, but to make sustainability fashionable,” says Anna Gedda, H&M’s head of sustainability. While environmental friendliness is at the core of the brand’s Conscious Exclusive range, it has still a long way to go with all the other collections they are producing. If you ask me, sustainability has always been fashionable. Maybe Anna is talking about just how the average H&M consumer thinks.
Moving on, because this time it actually gets better.
The 2016 Conscious collection is launched to coincide with the opening of the exclusively H&M-sponsored exhibition Fashion Forward: 300 Years of Fashion at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. H&M designers dug into the Louvre’s archives to develop motifs inspired by everything from French painter Gustave Moreau to clothing styles dating back 300 years. The result is a 35-piece collection that marries fine art with sophisticated sustainable materials. The clothes are made from organic cotton, organic hemp, organic silk and tencel blends. Tercel is a man-made fibre dissolved from wood pulp, like viscose, but made with a closed chemical loop and less energy. Ecological, but still mostly virgin materials. Only a few pieces have recycled polyester, but the beading has been done with recycled glass, which is a lovely surprise. Accessories feature recycled denim fabric in organic resin and organic leather.
H&M is a global mega brand (largest clothing manufacturer in the world) that has widely been known as a “fast fashion”. The company is in it´s own words striving to make sustainability—not only in the clothing itself but in supply and production as well—the rule, not the exception. “I think the challenge is the perception that if you produce something that is cheap and affordable, it automatically seems you have to compromise on sustainability,” Gedda explains. “So our mission is to turn that around.” And they have done this beautifully when it comes to their Conscious collections. Affordable, but not too low pricing, interesting ecological materials, beautiful design and long lasting design. The only thing missing from the press release and product infos, was where these pieces are produced and made. Or a certificate that they are not only done from eco materials but that the workforce has been paid a fair wage and otherwise ethical. I would not ask for this, if the collection would be called Eco Collection, but since it is called Conscious, I assume ethicality is a part of sustainable values.
Even though I don´t see the collection still being perfect, I have admit it is pretty good. Personally I would love to get the jacquard jacket, couple of those wide legged pants, maxi skirt and blouse. Plus the low heeled slips, jacquard shopper and recycled denim resin earrings. Pretty much half of the collection. They look like timeless pieces that I could wear for years and years. On a side note, I don´t give a shit who is their campaign face / celeb this season. The product is important, not the face. I can´t wait to feel these at the store, if the materials are as nice as they sound. I´m hoping they are.
The collection will arrive in 180 stores worldwide on April 7, the same day that the decorative arts museum unveils an ambitious exhibition, “Fashion Forward: 3 Centuries of Fashion.”. See the collection images, material details and prices here.