It's a known fact that fashion is the second most polluting industry (right after big oil), and H&M is certainly not blameless. But the fast-fashion giant is playing a part in aiming for a more sustainable future with its sixth-edition eco-friendly Conscious Exclusive collection.
The Swedish retailer touched down in L.A. on Tuesday night, hosting a star-studded dinner at SmogShoppe, a private indoor/outdoor venue that's 100 percent solar-powered and covered with vertical gardens. The green plants were a fitting backdrop for celebrating H&M's latest Conscious Exclusive collection with model Natalia Vodianova, who serves as the face for the new range.
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Vodianova was in town just for the event, clad in a cool-looking halter top covered with orange pailettes, made from plastic that has been collected from the shores of China, and black trousers made from organic silk. The Russian beauty told The Hollywood Reporter she was "proud to be asked [to be part of the campaign]. I've always admired H&M for their values, changing the idea that if you're buying something cheap, that it's not fashionable or beautiful."
Each piece from the Conscious Exclusive collection is made with sustainable materials, including an ethereal, pleated gown of Bionic fabric, which is made from recycled shoreline plastic; a sequin cocktail dress made from recycled polyester and partially recycled plastic; and a tuxedo jacket of organic silk and Tencel, a sustainable fabric regenerated from wood cellulose. There's also a set of unisex organic oils that can be worn separately or mixed together to create a unique scent, the first time a fragrance has been introduced in a Conscious Exclusive collection.
"We really tried in this collection to push the boundaries for what is possible to make in sustainable fashion with all fabrics," said H&M creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson, adding that the Bionic Yarn was a new material incorporated into the latest offering "It's about time we think of waste as a resource and an asset, instead of just waste."
A common misconception with Earth-friendly fashion, explained Johansson, is that people still think the clothes have to be earthy, as in linen and beige, but H&M is trying to show that it doesn't have to be that way. Said Johansson: "We wanted to have more colors in the collection this time, usually it's quite powder-y, pink and cream. Now we have the pink, blue and yellow."
Johansson and Vodianova were joined by Orlando Bloom, Sasha Lane, Kate Mara (who arrived with stylist Johnny Wujek), Chrissy Teigen (with stylist Monica Rose), Rowan Blanchard (with stylist Chris Horan) and Hailey Baldwin (with stylist Maeve Reilly) during the evening.
For dinner, guests were served endive salad, wild striped bass, mustard-grilled chicken, white quinoa with black beans and feta, as well as chocolate-coconut bars and mini-berry tartlettes, courtesy of Lucques owner and chef Suzanne Goin.
H&M's next Conscious Exclusive Collection will be in stores and online April 20, just in time for Earth Day.