The autumn/winter offerings are part of a Conscious Exclusive line, which the Swedish retailer introduced two springs ago. "It all started with a desire to create a statement coat in a sustainable material that could be worn for both those special occasions and day-to-day life, but then evolved into something more substantial," says Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M, in a press release.
H&M's designers used eco-friendly materials like recycled wool, cashmere, polyester, and Econyl, a fabric made from recycled plastic—plus, 100 percent organic fibers like silk—to create a 32-piece capsule of womenswear, lingerie, and accessories, ranging from a $15 pair of dusty-rose-colored underwear to a dolman-sleeved jacket ($300) embroidered with recycled sequins. The end result is as chic as it is sustainable.
The line is also proving that sustainability, in addition to innovative of-the-moment style, sells. The collection only dropped on September 27, but some items have already sold out, like a pair of statement clip-on earrings that resemble cascading orchid petals and a sweatshirt hood covered in black sequins. Other notable offerings, such as a cozy V-neck sweater and a velvet miniskirt aren't likely to last long, either. That items are already flying off shelves bodes well for H&M's bigger goals: It has pledged to exclusively manufacture with recycled or sustainable materials by 2030, and if successful, it would be the first fast-fashion brand to pull it off.
But will it be the last? Looking at you next, Zara.
The first step to becoming a more sustainable shopper is learning how to spot eco-friendly materials on clothing labels.
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