H&M’s Latest Sustainable Collection Is Very 1920s French Riviera

Today, H&M announced the launch of its spring ‘20 Conscious Exclusive collection. Not only is it one of the Swedish fashion brand’s most sustainable offerings yet, it also just so happens to be our favorite aesthetically, too. 
Since 2012, H&M has designed a total of 11 Conscious Exclusive collections, each one outdoing its predecessor in both style and innovation. For the spring ‘20 collection, the brand reached into its archive of Global Change Award winners to find Vegea, a vegan leather alternative made from the skins and stalks of discarded grapes. H&M’s design team also utilized Circulose, a natural material made with used cotton blended with FSC certified wood pulp; Renu, a high-quality recycled polyester; and natural dyes made from the coffee grounds collected at H&M’s production office. 
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Photo Courtesy of H&M.
“For spring ‘20, the Conscious Exclusive design team considered the emotional durability and afterlife of the garments they were designing more carefully than ever before,” says H&M’s Creative Advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson. “We are committed to a truly holistic approach to sustainability, as well as to creating special pieces that will last a lifetime.”
The design team led by Ella Soccorsi connected the brand’s journey toward circularity to the inspiration behind the collection: traveling via the glamorous 1920s sleeper train Le Train Bleu. During the decade following World War I, Le Train Bleu was the mode of transportation for young, wealthy creatives traveling between Calais and Côte d’Azur in the French Riviera. It’s said that Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all rode Le Train Bleu, which was named after its blue-painted train cars. “We wanted to propose a collection that played to that decadent, carefree time but also contained enduring designs that our customers will love wearing daily,” Soccorsi says.
Photo Courtesy of H&M.
Photo Courtesy of H&M.
The collection itself is just as luxurious as the train that inspired it. In it, you’ll find recycled taffeta mini dresses, cocktail slippers embellished with recycled glass beads, and a floor-length polyester ball gown that’ll have you packing your bags and hopping on a flight to Nice in no time. Oversized sunglasses, ruffled frocks, and mural-printed swimsuits are also included in the 48-piece collection, as is a very Gatsby-esque beaded shoulder piece.
Shop the Conscious Exclusive collection for yourself on March 26th both online at HM.com and in select H&M store locations. Until then, experience the dreamy spring ‘20 campaign by watching the film below.
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