Wrap announces Recycle Week 2021

Waste not, want not: H&M new clothing collection made from waste materials

Global fashion retailer H&M has revealed a new autumn-winter collection of clothing made from waste materials.

The ‘Conscious Exclusive’ range includes items which the business said have been made with “sustainably sourced materials made from waste”.

“What’s normally thrown away is purposefully transformed into treasures to be loved and valued, allowing us to appreciate the potential of waste and be inspired by the creativity that comes from having to reuse things,” the retailer said of the range, which will be available on its website from 1 December.

Several processes have been involved in the creation of the new range, including transforming food crop waste into a natural fibre, and making fabrics made from sustainably sourced wood pulp. H&M has also used a garment-to-garment recycling process.

Items included in the collection range from womenswear pieces such as evening gowns in black and green jacquard taffeta, and a classic men’s tuxedo, as well as suits, shirts, and a jacket.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M, said: “The pieces in this collection are crafted from truly amazing materials produced from waste.

“Working with this kind of transformation and being able to speak to our customers through beauty, we hope that waste can be part of the future of ‘sustainable fashion’.”

The concept of ‘sustainable fashion’ has yet to be proved, of course, but this is a positive example of a retailer trying to educate itself and its customers about the importance of creating clothing in a more environmentally-friendly manner. It is part of a range of new initiatives H&M is embarking on to extol the eco benefits of recycling, reusing, and renting fashion items.

The Conscious Exclusive also includes accessories such as choker necklaces, earrings and shoe clips made from recycled metals, and a pair of sunglasses crafted from Made of Air, a material partly created from waste biomass.

Footwear in the collection is made from VEGEA, a vegan leather partly made from wine by-products.

One H&M store in Stockholm and another in Berlin will offer a rental service of six different autumn/winter 2020 pieces, as part of the company’s growing commitment to increasing the lifespan of the products it creates and discourage a ‘throwaway fashion’ culture.

The campaign promoting the new range features Zinnia Kumar, an Australian-born, London-based ecologist, activist and model.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this Conscious Exclusive campaign, especially as H&M is paving the way for sustainable collections to become the industry norm,” she said.

“As consumers, we will no longer need to differentiate between fashionability and sustainability, as they will become one and the same. As an ecologist working in fashion, this fills me with hope.”

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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