By Florence Kane. Photos: Courtesy of H&M.
Fast fashion is a lot of things, but eco-friendly isn't always one (consider this: in 2014, after donation, 84 percent of unwanted clothes and footwear in the United States went into either a landfill or an incinerator). But H&M gets it and is actively looking to make a change. The Swedish company—namely head of sustainability Anna Gedda, creative adviser Ann-Sofie Johansson, and Cecilia Brännsten, environmental sustainability business expert—is tackling the issue head-on with its Conscious Exclusive collection, made of at least 50 percent sustainable or recycled materials. The retailer unveiled this year’s line today—which will hit 160 select H&M stores and hm.com on April 20th—and it's really impressive.
The face of the label, supermodel-activist Natalia Vodianova, walked us through her favorite pieces. “I’m in love with the pleated evening gown made from recycled waste,” she says, referring to the dress created from Bionic fabric, made of recovered shoreline plastic, such as bottles. There's also a chic tux done in organic silk and tencel (an environmentally friendly fiber made from cellulose found in wood pulp); and accessories—earrings, bags, shoes—also created with recycled plastics. My own favorite? A pink recycled-polyester sequined dress with a black pussy bow.
I'm excited about H&M’s commitment to this issue: Today 26 percent of the company’s products, including those from sister labels COS and &Other Stories, are made with sustainable materials. The long-term goal is “to push the boundaries and show what we think is possible,” Gedda told me in Stockholm. She hopes to one day use only recycled materials, rather than making new textiles for clothing. That’s going to take a lot of innovation and time, but this latest offering is a great first step. And I want that dress!
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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