Green giant

An ac­ces­si­ble fash­ion col­lec­tion that puts tex­tile in­no­va­tion front and cen­tre.

ELLE (Canada) - - STYLE -

“WE CAN’T CON­TINUE to do busi­ness like we have for the past 30 years,” says Ann-Sofie Jo­hans­son, H&M’s cre­ative ad­viser, at the launch of the brand’s lat­est Con­scious Ex­clu­sive col­lec­tion (out April 11) in Ber­lin. Jo­hans­son is dressed in a softly tai­lored suit that was cut from or­ganic li­nen, her rhine­stone and tor­toise­shell ear­rings are made of re­cy­cled plas­tic and old cut­lery, and the soles of the bow slides on her feet were al­gae once upon a time. These are all part of the new line, which is, fit­tingly, in­spired by the glory of na­ture.

Now in its ninth sea­son, the Swedish fash­ion giant’s sus­tain­ably made cap­sule has come a long way. “We couldn’t use any em­bel­lish­ments at the start,” says Jo­hans­son. “Now we have se­quins that are 70-per­cent re­cy­cled, and we have so many more fab­rics.” For the first time, the brand has used pineap­ple leather, which ap­pears on the cuffs and shoul­ders of a cropped moto jacket and on a pair of kicky cow­boy boots, and orange fi­bre, which is made with waste from juice pro­duc­tion and is the ma­te­rial used to cre­ate a dra­matic corseted top with bal­loon sleeves.

Along with these in­no­va­tive tex­tiles, the brand is also fo­cus­ing on cir­cu­lar­ity—reusing dis­carded goods in­stead of cre­at­ing new ones. To that end, 57 per­cent of H&M’s cur­rent tex­tiles are re­cy­cled, and the brand vows to reach 100 per­cent in 11 years. These ef­forts have re­ceived the stamp of ap­proval from Eva Kruse, CEO of the Global Fash­ion Agenda, a fo­rum on fash­ion sus­tain­abil­ity. “If the fash­ion in­dus­try stays on its cur­rent tra­jec­tory, emis­sions from tex­tile pro­duc­tion will rise by more than 60 per­cent by 2030. H&M is lead­ing by ex­am­ple when it comes to forg­ing a sus­tain­able path,” says Kruse. Af­ter all, most of us wear cloth­ing from mass re­tail­ers, so big com­pa­nies can—and must—make a big im­pact. Talk about feel-good cloth­ing.

Or­ganic-li­nen and Ten­cel blazer ($169); re­cy­cled-plas­tic, brass, zinc and glass bracelet ($35); re­cy­cled-polyester, polyamide and metal san­dals ($80); or­ganic-li­nen shorts ($70)

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