SENSE AND SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY

IT’S THE BUZZ­WORD OF OUR TIMES, BUT MORE AND MORE LA­BELS ARE PUTTING THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE WHEN IT COMES TO THE FU­TURE OF FASH­ION

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

H&M proves you can go green with­out com­pro­mis­ing style.

Fash­ion and sus­tain­abil­ity. A con­tra­dic­tion in terms? Fash­ion is, by na­ture, cycli­cal. Built on de­sire. Fu­elled by our need to Buy. New. Stuff. Sus­tain­abil­ity is the abil­ity to sus­tain, not be­ing harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment or de­plet­ing nat­u­ral re­sources. It means we want our planet to be around for a long time. Fash­ion com­pa­nies like H&M want to be around, too. And they un­der­stand that be­ing around means there needs to be a world wor­thy of be­ing around in. The fash­ion in­dus­try is one of the world’s most pol­lut­ing; it’s also a $3 tril­lion in­dus­try that isn’t likely to sud­denly grind to a halt. But the most vi­sion­ary play­ers are try­ing to find ways to close the loop, shift­ing their fo­cus to re­new­able ma­te­ri­als, find­ing smarter ways of work­ing, and sup­port­ing safe and fair work­ing con­di­tions down the supply chain.

One of those ways is H&M Con­scious Ex­clu­sive, a lim­ited cap­sule that acts as a test­ing ground for in­no­va­tive tex­tiles that have the po­ten­tial to be scaled up through­out the main col­lec­tion and across the in­dus­try. This year, along with or­ganic linen, Ten­cel and re­cy­cled polyester, H&M has in­tro­duced re­cy­cled sil­ver and Econyl, a 100 per cent re­gen­er­ated ny­lon fi­bre made from fish nets and other ny­lon waste. The aim is fash­ion with­out com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity or price. So when a del­i­cate fab­ric with dra­matic em­broi­dery that once passed as fish­ing net turns up in the col­lec­tion, woven into a beau­ti­ful white lace dress, you know it’s been put through its paces.

Work­ing with fab­ric de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate re­new­able al­ter­na­tives takes time, and the re­search is on­go­ing. Wher­ever pos­si­ble, the de­sign team, over­seen by H&M’S cre­ative ad­viser Ann-sofie Jo­hans­son, opts for the friend­lier ver­sion, right down to the re­cy­cled plas­tic beads adorn­ing ear­rings and bags. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is vi­tal if H&M is to reach its goal of us­ing only fab­rics from sus­tain­able sources by 2030, and col­lab­o­ra­tion with sci­en­tists and stake­hold­ers is cru­cial. Ini­tia­tives in the works in­clude ve­gan leather, made from grape skins or mush­rooms, and Orange Fiber, which is silk-like and made out of cit­rus juice by-prod­ucts. And a re­cent break­through with a Hong Kong re­search cen­tre in how to re­cy­cle do­nated clothes looks a promis­ing so­lu­tion to an on­go­ing chal­lenge for H&M.

The new col­lec­tion is in­spired by the ta­pes­tries and paint­ings of Swedish artists Karin and Carl Lars­son, which trans­late beau­ti­fully into mod­ern-day flo­ral jacquards, ab­stract em­broi­deries and colour­ful prints. There’s not a piece that’s been com­pro­mised, and in fact some de­signs, like the flared trousers trans­formed from re­cy­cled PET bot­tles, are bet­ter for their sto­ried past. “There doesn’t have to be a con­tra­dic­tion be­tween sus­tain­abil­ity and trends,” says Jo­hans­son. “[It’s] about pieces you can wear over and over, and that’s what it’s like with trends over­all now. Peo­ple are so aware and they grasp new trends quicker than be­fore, but at the same time th­ese trends stick around for a longer time.” Sus­tain­able style at its best.

Ten­cel scarf, $44.99, H&M CON­SCIOUS EX­CLU­SIVE, hm.com/au CON­SCIOUS STARS: H&M’S 2018 cam­paign stars Aamito Lagum, Giedre Dukauskait­e and Christy Turling­ton Burns (top left)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.