To celebrate the launch of their latest Conscious Collection, Swedish retailer H&M tapped French actress, singer and model Vanessa Paradis to be the face of the campaign. Paradis — who recently had a quite public split with her partner of many years, Johnny Depp — is wearing pieces that H&M calls “both on-trend and also more-sustainable.” This collection, representatives say, “is all part of H&M’s ongoing commitment to a more sustainable fashion future, showing that the best fashion can be made from conscious materials.”
The entire collection is made from more sustainable materials, like as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel. It’s hard to tell by the photos released so far, but I hope that H&M will channel trends with more longevity this time, compared to what they with for the previous Conscious Collection. Many of those pieces felt cheap and did not stand the test of time. Fast fashion and sustainability is somewhat of an unfortunate combination, but if H&M can get this right and create well-made pieces with some longevity, it’s going to be a big deal. “The pieces are part of a collection full of optimism for spring,” the press release says, “with romantic styles like a floor-length dress alongside sporty shapes such as a cropped jumpsuit and a tropical print T-shirt dress.”
“I like being part of something like the Conscious collection at H&M,” says Vanessa Paradis, “I try my best to shop consciously, and vintage is very much part of my wardrobe. I love the style and it works in an eco-friendly way because I like to use and reuse old clothes.”
The full collection — for women, men, kids and babies — will be available in H&M stores and online at the end of March.
Coinciding with the campaign will be the launch of a Conscious garment collecting action at H&M. Customers will be able to bring old clothing from any label (not just H&M) to selected stores, and in return for each bag receive an H&M gift card (limited to two per customer per day). Despite the fact that they still have some issues to work out, H&M is the first major global retailer to implement a garment takeback program of this scale. As much as 95% of the clothing we throw out could be used again in some way.
“Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,” says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO H&M.
The collected clothes handled by I:Collect, a global recycling company which will transport the collected garments to a sorting plant in Germany, where they can either be re-used as clothes or to make products like cleaning rags or insulation material.
Long-term, H&M says it “wants to reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the lifecycle and create a closed loop for textile fibers.” The aim, the company says, is to “find technical solutions to reuse and recycle textile fibers on a larger scale.” To help accomplish this goal, H&M has set up the Conscious Foundation, which will support innovation on closing the loop on textiles and support social projects that align with the company’s values.
We want you to succeed, H&M, and we are willing to pay a few dollars more per garment to help you create lasting, sustainable change. Maybe it’s as easy as that?