Taking sustainable fashion to unprecedented territory, H&M releases not one, but two inspired collections that showcase the latest and greatest in sustainable style: The Conscious and Conscious Exclusive Collections. Both collections showcase two new innovative introductions: Organic leather from the Swedish leather supplier Tärnsjö and organic silk, and the designs created are awe-inspiring.
Recently seen on the red carpet, Penelope Cruz stole the scene at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, as the Academy Award winning actress wore a dazzling fitted flamenco-inspired, midnight blue ruffled gown designed by H&M and made out of more sustainable materials. Also seen wearing the Granada dress from H&M’s Conscious Exclusive Collection is the face of H&M’s Spring Summer 2014 campaign, Miranda Kerr, at the H&M Studio fashion show in Paris last February. Her appearance in the stunning black gown proved to be a tantalizing tease, where we couldn’t wait until the collection officially launched in Kuwait to get our hands on that Granada dress. Raising the bar once more, we further see the amazing supermodel and actress Amber Valetta, known for her commitment to sustainability, as the face of the Conscious Collection campaign.
These appearances solidify one notion: sustainable fashion is continuously reimagined with H&M’s Conscious Collections year after year.
CONSCIOUS COLLECTION SPRING 2014
Inspired by the glamour of the desert or Bedouin chic, H&M’s Conscious Collection for Spring 2014 features a series of key fashion pieces that take after nature, where sustainable materials are chosen throughout the collection. We see a new logo introduced in the wash care labels of garments, CleverCare, that is aimed at providing customers with tips and motivation toward caring for clothes in a more sustainable manner. Silhouettes are created by voluminous shapes and draping. As summer approaches, we see the hand-drawn animal prints in shades of the desert sunset add a scintillating sense of heat. Materials used in the Conscious Collection include organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester, hemp and Tencel.
The theme of volume continues with fluid, wide trousers that offer a new shape, a style that’s gathered at the waist before flowing straight down. Meanwhile, harem pants are fitted throughout the leg, with a tassel decoration at the waist. Key pieces include a bright orange dress that is longer at the back and made from Tencel with polyamide, and a loose-cut kaftan featuring a hand-drawn zebra print. Tunics also have volume, with multiple tassels hanging from cords at the neck. A throw-on soft, loose jacket provides a modern take on the kimono, with no fastenings and wide, cropped sleeves.
CONSCIOUS EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION SPRING 2014
For the Conscious Exclusive Collection, we see the innovative use of 100% organic silk and leather, further showcasing what can be done with more sustainable materials in both the clothing and accessories design arenas. H&M has designed the Conscious Exclusive Collection with input from Ever Manifesto, a sustainable fashion and design think tank that shares H&M’s commitment to a more sustainable future for fashion. We see Ever Manifesto appear in the Conscious Exclusive campaign together with Amber Valletta, the supermodel and actress known for her commitment to sustainability and also the face of the Conscious Collection Spring 2014 campaign. Materials used include organic leather and silk, organic cotton and recycled cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel and recycled plastic throughout the clothing and accessories collections.
One might wonder what organic leather and silk essentially means. Organic leather comes from cows bred for organic meat production on Swedish farms, while organic silk is cultivated in organic mulberry trees. The Conscious Exclusive Collection arrives as a limited edition range that is made with high-quality fabrics with dramatic and intricate details inspired by the art of flamenco and bohemia. Flamenco is a key inspiration, both for the ruffles on the gowns and the sharp tailoring.
A jacket made in bonded fabric has a structured shape, embroidery, embellishment in organic cotton, Tencel, antique metal and sequins. Dresses are also key, such as the A-line organic cotton lace dress that’s gathered at the neck before flowing out with great fluidity. There’s also an update on the flamenco recycled polyester dress with a fitted body that’s tied at the shoulder, and has expressive ruffles falling down from the hips. Bustier tops give shape and define an outfit, whether it’s a bustier in organic leather, or a dark navy organic cotton mix bustier decorated with grosgrain ribbons, with sheer georgette from the bust to the neck. Sharply tailored jackets are given added elegance with inserts of lace, an effect echoed in slim-cut trousers. Jumpsuits come both sleeveless and cut at the side to create a fluid top, or with a boned and embellished bustier. Accessories include embellished mules, gypsy style drop earrings, large organic leather rose hairclips, and a small leather bag with a clean design and simple strap.
Interview with Catarina Midby
Head of Fashion and Sustainability Communication at H&M
Speaking to us more about the Conscious Initiative is Catarina Midby, Head of Fashion and Sustainability Communication at H&M.
bazaar: How is this Conscious Collection different from previous collections, and what is the inspiration behind it?
CM: Greener materials are improving every season and we see great new fabrics every year in these collections. This season, the Conscious Collection is inspired by Bedouin Glamour, with the layering of floaty fine fabrics in earthy colors with accents of gold.
bazaar: What types of materials are used in this new collection?
CM: We mainly incorporated recycled polyester, organic cotton and Tencel.
bazaar: What are your favorite pieces from this collection?
CM: I love the entire collection, but one favorite is the pink/red tunic with tassels in recycled polyester.
bazaar: How has H&M expanded the Conscious initiative over recent years?
CM: It’s a continuously growing initiative. See hm.com/conscious for all of our work toward attaining a more sustainable future in our business.
bazaar: What’s next for H&M Conscious Collections?
CM: We are happy to have launched the first garments made with fibers recycled from our garment collecting initiative that we launched a few weeks ago. It will be exciting to see the next range and the fabrics that we would be able to make from our own garment/fabric collecting program.
H&M is to launch its new Conscious and Conscious Exclusive collections on April 10 in Kuwait. The collection is available at H&M The Avenues and Grand Avenue store. For more information visit www.hm.com.
For more on CleverCare check out www.clevercare.info , and www.evermanifesto.com for information regarding their collaboration with H&M. Selected pieces will also be sold in the area dedicated to Amber Valletta’s environmentally responsible initiative, Master & Muse, on www.yoox.com.