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H&M’s Conscious Collection marks the beginning of a new direction

Throughout the month of October, H&M will highlight the Conscious Collection in stores all around the world. As part of a content partnership, H&M invited us to take a closer look at the positive changes behind the scenes.

There’s something in the air, and it’s not just hayfever. It smells like positive change and it’s coming from within the fashion industry rather than outside it. It feels like, finally, our wardrobes are beginning to shift in the right direction.

One persistent problem area has long been fast fashion. But environmentally-conscious options should be available at all price points, and this brings with it consumer responsibility. We need to take the initiative to educate ourselves around the production methods of the individual brands we buy from, rather than assuming others will do it for us.

H&M is one fast fashion retailer that knows the weight the industry has to pull, and is putting more and more focus on how its processes and products affect the planet. The brand is making a conscious effort to steer closer towards a sustainable future, with the H&M Conscious Collection at the forefront of its movement.

While the Conscious Collection is not the first sustainable release the brand has launched, it is the first at this price point. It coincides with the arrival of spring, uniting modern romantic designs with sustainably-sourced materials.

The range features ultra feminine shapes and details — think floral co-ord sets, ruffles, off-the-shoulder necklines and exaggerated balloon sleeves — all made from sustainably-sourced materials such as 100 per cent organic cotton, Tencel or recycled polyester.

The warm brown pleated tube top (made from recycled polyester) is designed to be worn back with the matching tiered lace maxi skirt, which is also made from recycled polyester. There’s also a floral print voluminous mini dress with a ruffled v-neck, three-quarter length sleeves and drop waist that’s made from organic cotton — and practically begging to be taken out for brunch.

The Conscious Collection is a statement of intent, displaying the brand’s commitment towards occupying a more sustainable position in the industry.

Alongside this collection, the retailer is taking a number of other positive steps towards creating a more circular supply chain.

For example, the focus on recycled textiles is crucial for the label’s goals of building a sustainable fashion future — and the Conscious Collection isn’t the only place we’ll find them in-store. H&M is regularly increasing its use of several types of these recycled textiles, including recycled 100 per cent organic cotton, Tencel, polyester, nylon, wool, cashmere, plastic, silver and down.

The brand is also committed to transitioning to 100 per cent recycled (or other sustainably-sourced materials) by 2030. In 2018, H&M achieved 57 per cent. As noted in H&M’s sustainability report, third-party certification schemes are typically employed to make sure the sustainable materials are, in fact, sustainable.

Every H&M store around the world encourages customers to bring in unwanted garments and textiles from any brand, in any condition, so they can be recycled, re-worn or re-used. Participants will also get an H&M voucher towards their next purchase, as a thank you for donating. In 2018 alone, H&M stores collected over 20,649 tonnes of garments and textiles to be given another life.

Another key example is H&M’s Change-Making Programme — a worldwide scheme within the business that sets measurable goals across energy, water usage, waste and human rights standards. It brings these together with roadmaps, policies and follow-up methods to make sure strategies translate to action, and are actually working like they’re supposed to. As the H&M Group is comprised of multiple labels across different countries, the programme also works to ensure all sustainability efforts that come under the brand umbrella are streamlined.

Further details about these initiatives can be found in H&M’s sustainability report, which is available to read here. Ready to make a conscious fashion purchase? The H&M Conscious Collection is available in-store now.

hm.com/au

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