Latest Preview: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2016
Recycled and organic raw materials is, once again, making headlines with the latest preview of H&M’s Conscious Collection 2016. Being conscious in every part of the fashion making process is H&M’s corporate challenge set in 2011. As part of the hundreds of conscious actions the company takes part in every year, the annual conscious exclusive collection and raw material design initiatives are ways H&M aims to create a sustainable fashion future.
From a wide range of organic cotton to recycled polyester and Tencel blends, this year’s collection draws textile design inspiration from historical art while showcasing a wider range of sustainable material for clothing fabric, accessories and embellishments. Exhibits from the opening of the exhibition Fashion Forward – 300 years of Fashion at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris have been beautifully translated in this collection to convey an idea of painterly and sophisticated elegance.
The design team at H&M delved into the museum’s collections of archival fashions picking up key pieces from the last three centuries of hauté couture and making the historical art pieces wearable.
I went to go to the collection preview. Stepping into the showroom, I was greeted by a prominent display of 5 carpet-ready outfits and fashionably sustainable accessories from the 2016 collection that wows the senses.
Surrounding this center stage are booth displays of the different raw material textiles used to make this collection.
Over the last six years of conscious efforts, H&M has increased its use of organic, recycled and better cotton which makes up for 30% of total cotton use. Being one of the world’s largest fashion retailer, this initiative credits H&M as one of the world’s biggest buyers of certified organic cotton. Did you know that organic cotton has 46% less carbon impact than conventional cotton?
3 types of cotton H&M uses:
Organic – grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizer and contains no genetically-modified organisms (GMO).
Recycled – old garments and textile leftover are ground into fibers, spun into new yarn and weaved into new fabrics.
Better – member of the Better Cotton Initiate (BCI) that develops and promotes good farm practices; using less water and chemicals, caring for soil and natural habitats and promotes good land farming practices.
Tencel fabric is a kind of soft, airy and lightweight fabric made from the fiber of certain trees, similar to bamboo fabric made from bamboo. In this year’s collection, Tencel is made from the fibers of certified eucalyptus trees. Why eucalyptus? Like bamboo, eucalyptus trees grow fast and require less water and pesticides to thrive than normal trees. This year, Tencel blend pants are paired with recycled glass beads for design elegance.
Polyester is an artificial fibre widely used around the world. Unfortunately, it is made from oil and highly unsustainable. Recycled polyester tackles this challenge because it means putting other oil-based waste, such as PET plastic bottles, old fishing nets and used carpets to good use. Who could have imagined that one day you might be wearing your water bottle.
An innovative technology where old recycled denim jeans and sorts are ground down into fibers, mixed with resin and molded into wearable accessory pieces. While the accessory range is still limited; the innovative thinking behind this making is noteworthy. The natural fibers of denim can be seen giving beautiful texture and a sense of unpredictable consistency to the jewelry pieces.
A 2016 behind-the-scenes video with French art director and model, Julia Restoin Roitfeld.
H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2016 launches in Singapore 7 April 2016.
Click here for more information about H&M’s sustainable materials.