Tag Archives: sustainability
Retail expert and DRG contributor ALISON BISHOP attends the launch of H&M’s latest sustainability report and its new Conscious Exclusive collection
H&M is really upping its sustainability messaging at the moment. Last Thursday the Swedish fashion giant held its first live-streamed press conference to launch its most recent sustainability report. Rather than the usual bland technical processes stuff, I saw just how H&M is innovating and striving for real change in the fast fashion cycle.
The online report is easily digestible with video and infographic highlights showing key innovations, such as recycling old denim to create reconstituted fabrics for brand new ‘closed-loop’ jeans; or partnering with plastic bottle recycling companies to make pearl and surface embellishments from both pre- and post consumer waste products.
All this corresponds with H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection, a limited run range that drops in-store and online on 16 April. There’s a luxe, contemporary feel to the unashamedly sustainably produced collection with handcrafted prints, elegant ruffles, kimono-style tailoring and structured draping. The fabrics created through smarter manufacturing processes are what allow H&M to experiment with different, more premium looks (that keep finding their way onto the red carpet too).
But H&M needs to produce these collections on a much larger scale and eventually close the loop on fashion, according to Hanna Hallin, H&M’s social sustainability manager. She wants everyone to use the recycle bins for unwanted clothes in-stores, and to tell their friends that “sustainability can be cool – it’s the meaningful thing to do for the next generation”.
Here’s a quick preview of the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection before it hits next week. On my wish list are the black macrame stitch warrior blouse, the kimono style halter-neck jumpsuit and the organic hemp jacquard draped shift dress. Are we witnessing a new era of consumer-generated sustainably produced designer collaborations at H&M?
What could cheer up the prospect of autumn more than the arrival of new-season Chinti & Parker? Not much. The ethically-produced cashmeres and woollens are now routinely joined by dresses, skirts and blouses (not to mention easy-to-steal menswear). Feast your eyes… Continue reading
I do love a bit of serendipity. I’m researching Australian brands for a feature and by sheer coincidence, an email arrived last week introducing me to hand sewn footwear line Feit.
It’s the brainchild of the Price brothers who have a history in streetwear (Tull Price co-founded Royal Elastics in 1996). The brand has taken classic streetwear sneaker shapes and reduced them to the most minimalist lines in high quality vegetable tanned leathers. Continue reading
Guest contributor LSN Global retail editor ALISON BISHOP reports on how Nike’s ‘Making’ app puts sustainable design front of mind for fashion and sportswear creatives…
Ever the innovator, Nike is building on its sustainable product design credentials by sharing its in-house Materials Sustainability Index for anyone to learn from and use – in the form of its new Making app. After collaborating with students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the new app helps designers and product creators make more informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose. It works by ranking textiles and other materials used for product design based on four environmental concern areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. For example who knew that the manufacture of silk uses 50% less water than cotton?
“It’s the start of a conversation,” Lee Holman, Nike’s vice-president of global apparel design told me. “Innovation is in Nike’s DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike’s design process. We’ve created the Making app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the early stages of the design process. Ultimately everyone wants to create products that are better for the planet, and we want to be able to facilitate that idea.”
It’s quite a statement from the sports giant, especially considering it’s not a selling tool and it’s not connected directly to any Nike product. It’s just for the good of the planet. We call it ‘Brandstanding’ at LS:N Global. Sustainability is the new battleground for brands that want to resonate with disillusioned Millennial consumers (25-35 years old) and brands with cast iron credentials will win the vote. Now I might even design myself a version of Nike’s Flyknit trainers…
Breaking news: those fabulous Chinti And Parker initial sweaters are now in the sale at half price on Net-a-Porter-com. I have the N one and can’t recommend it highly enough. In other Chinti And Parker news, there’s a great AW13 collab getting ready to drop in a couple of weeks with Patternity. The Chinti And Parker Meets Patternity collection comprises ethically-produced jersey separates, plus knit pants, dresses and sweaters in C & P’s signature cashmeres and Patternity’s geometric graphics. Continue reading
How cheery are Mich Dulce’s new millinery pics from her AW13 look book? I spotted these darling hats on her stand at London Fashion Week in February, where Michelle told me about about the sustainable methods they’re made from. (They’re handmade from traditional Filipino T’nalak fabric, handwoven by women who Michelle trains as part of a social enterprise scheme.) Continue reading
I’m not a great fan of faded denim. Given the choice, I prefer my jeans stiff, dark and densely pigmented. And as traditional faux-fading processes are found to be harmful to their makers and the environment, fashion is finally catching up with me.
One of the suggestions Levi’s makes is to wash jeans less, using only cold water. Funnily enough, this is something I’ve done for years. Using only a tiny bit of detergent, I soak jeans in a bucket of water then rinse, roll in a towel and dry flat. But mostly I try to avoid washing them at all, which is obviously much easier if they’re dark to start with (yeah, it helps if you’re a bit of a scruff).
As it happens, my favourite inky-hued jeans are back online at Netaporter.com. I have these Levi’s Made & Crafted chino jeans already in indigo and khaki but will be buying another pair of the indigo as I wear mine a lot. If you want a dark wash jean that’s versatile enough to wear all year round (day to night, dressed up or down, yada yada) then I’d thoroughly recommend these…
Buy Levi’s Made & Crafted jeans at Netaporter.com