Update: Aside from the floor-length gown made of Bionic yarn that H&M announced last month, this year's Conscious Exclusive collection, debuted today and available for purchase on April 20th, includes a full range of women's, men's, and children's styles along with the introduction of fragrance, in the form of a set of unisex organic oils. Prices are just slightly on the higher end of H&M's spectrum, ranging from $34.99 for earrings and $49.99 for bags and tops to up to $249 for the sequin or tulle dresses (and for that Bionic gown, of course). But considering it's a collection designed for special occasions, the pieces feel more elevated and special than H&M's usual affinity for basics.
“For this year’s Conscious Exclusive collection at H&M, we thought not only about the look of the pieces, but also how they feel and sound. It’s a collection to please all our senses, and also our desire to be sustainable in everything we do,” says Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s Head of Design and Creative Director. This is embodied, for example, by a recycled-polyester cocktail dress covered in sequins, as well as quirky, oversized statement earrings created from recycled glass and plastic — it all combines style and sustainability in a way that'll make you excited to wear every piece in the range.
"Getting [the collection] fashionable, getting it beautiful, getting it precious, but still making it as sustainable as possible is still a challenge I think, especially with embellishment and decorations. But, we’ve taken big steps also — if you look at the [Conscious Exclusive collection] we first did six years ago, you can see the difference if you look at this one... You can actually see the progress, which is really nice. We keep on pushing," H&M's creative advisor, Ann-Sofie Johansson, told Refinery29 on a press trip earlier this year in Stockholm. Across H&M’s entire product offering, 26% of all pieces are now made from sustainable materials, and the goal is to increase that proprortion each year. H&M has also set specific targets in every product range, such as 100% of its cotton to be sustainable by 2020. And, this drop is certainly a step in the right direction.
The Conscious Exclusive collection will be available in about 160 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online, beginning on April 20th, but click on to get your first look and start plotting what you want to buy for all those summer weddings and occasions in your future.
This post was originally published on February 7, 2017.
When you think of fashion that's good for the planet, you probably picture bland, oatmeal-colored basics that are anything but on-trend. H&M, however, has been on a mission to change the stereotype with its Conscious Exclusive collection, which offers a selection of higher-end, eco-minded items that aim to bridge the gap between style and sustainability. And with its upcoming drop (the sixth of its kind), the retailer is making waves with a floor-length gown made entirely from Bionic yarn, a special recycled polyester material comprised of recovered, washed-up plastic.
One look at this floaty, pale-pink, pleated gown and you'd have no idea it was created from old bottles and grocery bags. But this is just a small part of H&M's movement toward a more sustainable future. Across all product ranges, 20% of H&M's offerings were made from sustainable materials as of 2015, and the goal for the fast-fashion powerhouse is to have all of its cotton 100% sustainably sourced by 2020. This Bionic yarn should definitely help in the brand's efforts (and more importantly, help the planet).
In addition to the full assortment of formalwear for both men and women, the collection will, for the first time, include childrenswear and a Conscious Exclusive fragrance, made from organic oils. Though the collection won't be available until April 20, ahead you'll find a sneak peak of the gown in all its recycled glory, along with some exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the campaign, featuring model Natalia Vodianova.