Sustainably attired: H&M and Mango launch ethical fashion collections

Multinational clothing brands H&M and Mango have unveiled new sustainable fashion collections made from organic and recycled materials.

The new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection (left) and Mango's new Committed Life collection (right) are a step in the right direction for the wasteful fast fashion industry. Photos: H&M/Mango

The new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection (left) and Mango's new Committed Life collection (right) are a step in the right direction for the wasteful fast fashion industry. Photos: H&M/Mango

H&M’s ‘Conscious Exclusive’ range and Mango’s ‘Committed Life' collection represent “a more sustainable future” for the turbo-charged clothing and textile industry, which remains one of the circular economy’s biggest pitfalls.

Conscious Exclusive, which includes a full clothing collection for men, women and kids, is made from H&M’s pioneering ‘Bionic’ material – a recycled polyester made from plastic shoreline waste. The Swedish multinational has also developed a Conscious Exclusive fragrance made from organic oils.

“For the design team at H&M, this year’s Conscious Exclusive is a chance to dream and create pieces that are both quirky and beautiful,” said H&M’s head of design and creative director Pernilla Wohlfahrt.

“It’s great to be able to show just what is possible with sustainable materials like we have done with the delicate plissé dress made of Bionic.”

The new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection will be available in around 160 stores worldwide, and online, from 20 April.

The collection is the latest driver in H&M’s move towards a more sustainable fashion future. Across all of H&M’s product ranges, 20% are now made from more sustainable materials, with an overarching aim to increase this share every year. 

Last month, H&M launched a new campaign to support the sustainability of fashion called 'Bring it on'. The campaign is inviting people to donate their used and worn clothes and accessories to any H&M shop, allowing for the fabrics to be re-used in order to create new garments.

Mango goes organic

Meanwhile, Spanish brand Mango has this week unveiled its new Committed Life collection, which uses organic and recycled cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel – a sustainable fabric made from wood cellulose.

Manufactured in factories in Portugal, Turkey and Morocco, the 45-piece collection also comes with individual international certificates "guaranteeing their sustainable origin".

"Mango has been working in different initiatives related to sustainability for many years now and this collection seemed like a natural step," communications director Guillermo Corominas told Vogue.

"We have carefully selected the materials and suppliers we wanted to work with, and it has been more or less planned at the same time as the rest of collections of the season. It's a thoughtfully crafted collection for women and men featuring fashion pieces committed to environmental sustainability."

“The sustainable fabrics used for this collection such as organic cotton and recycled polyester have international certificates, such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Cotton Standard) or GRS (Global Recycled Standard), among others. Our corporate social responsibility department has been working closely with the design team to ensure that the results meet the level of quality and sustainability planned for this collection.”

War on Waste

The new launches come just before the 2017 edition of London Fashion Week, which has thrust a number of innovative sustainable fashion products and solutions under the spotlight in recent years. But more broadly, the high street's appetite for fast fashion shows no sign of abating, with around 85% of discarded clothing still being sent to landfill.

The issue was highlighted by circular economy campaigner  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in an episode of his ‘Hugh’s War on Waste’ TV show at the end of 2015. At one point in the programme, Fearnley-Whittingstall stood upon a seven-tonne pile of clothing, consisting of 10,000 separate garments, in one of Britain's largest shopping centres. He then revealed to surprised shoppers that it takes just 10 minutes for the country to throw away that amount of clothes.

Luke Nicholls


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