Swedish label H&M's Conscious Exclusive range takes ethical fashion to a whole new level
When it comes to ethical fashion, Swedish brand H&M — the world’s second-largest retail garment chain — has been striving towards it since its foundation in 1947 by Erling Persson. Sample this: The garment collection initiative launched by the clothing giant in 2013 has fetched more than 57,000 tonnes of discarded clothes for recycling and 57 per cent of their garments are sustainably made. By 2030, they aim at using only 100 per cent recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials.
Keeping in line with the broader vision of the label, H&M’s latest summer collections, Conscious Exclusive and Conscious Spring, are environment-conscious, sustainable, and slow fashion. The Conscious Exclusive range has incorporated the latest sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics including the raging Orange Fiber fabric, Pinatex and Bloom Foam to create magic. H&M has used Orange Fiber fabric — an Italian brand that creates sustainable fabrics from citrus peels leftover from juice production — to come up with corset tops in pastel shades that have a silk-like feel to them. The winner of Global Change Award, Orange Fiber’s ritzy fabric has been used by high-end luxe labels including Salvatore Ferragamo and worn by green celebrities including Taiwanese model Chiling Lin.
Displayed at their Delhi centre, another eye-catcher at the launch was definitely the pinatex jacket and mini skirt that might appear to be leather-made to the untrained eye. Pinatex, an alternative for leather made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves, is being majorly used by eco-conscious fashion labels globally. Its texture is leather-like but the fabric is light and lets you breathe. The kitschy Pinatex ankle boots are also highly recommended for millennials seeking responsible fashion.
Airy beach flip-flops made of Bloom Foam — plant-based flexible foam made of algae from freshwater sources — are light, soft and will spare you the guilt of adding to the plastic mess. The effortless and feminine Conscious Exclusive collection has a total of 18 pieces of garments, shoes and accessories, which are also available at hm.com But the Conscious Spring range, which is equally good, will be available at all stores across the country. “The Conscious collection unites modern romantic designs and every piece is made from a sustainably-sourced material, such as 100 per cent organic cotton, organic linen, Tencel or recycled polyester,” says Dhatri Bhatt, head of communication, H&M India.
Floral prints and earthy colours perfectly complement the feminine details, such as ruffles, off-shoulder necklines and balloon sleeves. A warm brown, pleated tube top with a string halter neck in recycled polyester caught our attention, and can be worn with a matching tiered lace maxi-skirt. A white floral print voluminous mini-dress with a ruffled V- neck, three-quarter length sleeves and a dropped waist in organic cotton is a must-have for your beach or brunch days. From floral-printed separates to floaty dresses in earthy tones, blush pink and white, the dresses are definitely for champions of slow fashion.
“Feminine, easy-going silhouettes, dreamy floral prints and separates can easily be mixed and matched. It shows how style and sustainability can work together beautifully,” says Maria Östblom, head of Design Womenswear.
For Conscious Exclusive, price starts at Rs 1,299.