So, we're all super-pumped about H&M collab-ing with the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, for the new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection. We got the lowdown on what it's all about, what H&M's planning for us, and the future of fashion—from none other than the woman of the hour herself—Ann-Sophie Johansson
Cosmo: Tell us a little bit about the idea of bringing sustainability into fashion?
Ann-Sophie Johansson: "At H&M, we want to make sustainable, good-quality fashion accessible to as many people as possible. We believe that conscious fashion choices should be available and affordable to everyone—without ever compromising on style. We're proud to offer affordable, sustainable and high-quality fashion to an increasing number of customers around the world, not just a select few. It is part of the process to democratising fashion."
C: How is H&M doing this through it's Conscious Exclusive Collection?
ASJ: "The H&M Conscious Exclusive are recurring fashion collections in the forefront of H&M's sustainability work. They aim to move H&M's fashion and sustainability development and innovation forward towards a more sustainable fashion future. The collections made from more sustainable materials are an opportunity for our design team to experiment with new and interesting sustainable materials.
C: What are some of the most interesting materials you've used, in the process of creating this collection?
ASJ: The Conscious Collections are an opportunity for our design team to experiment with new and interesting sustainable materials. New sustainable materials for this season are Denimite (made from recycled denim used on the beautiful Art Deco earrings), and recycled glass stones (used for the intricate embellishments on the dresses and trousers). Other sustainable materials include fabrics such as recycled polyester made of recycled PET bottles, recycled plastic made of recycled plastic containers as well as organic linen, organic hemp and Tencel.
C: What brought about the collaboration with Musée des Arts Décoratifs?
ASJ: H&M is the main sponsor for the upcoming exhibition 300 years of Fashion at Musée Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris. That's why the new Conscious Exclusive collection was created with the forthcoming exhibition in mind. H&M has had unique access to the museum's costume archives, which has resulted in a contemporary collection inspired by the last three centuries of high fashion, as well as the work of artists such as Gustave Moreau.
C: How can people make their fabrics and fashion more eco-friendly?
ASJ: "H&M has presented many initiatives, such as the Clever Care symbol on how to care for your clothes in a more environmentally friendly way such as washing your clothes at a lower temperature or leave them to hang dry. Sometimes the clothes might not even need to be washed and a good airing might be enough.
We also encourage our customers to hand their unwanted clothes in to our stores for recycling through our Garment Collecting initiative. H&M was the first fashion company to launch a clothing collecting initiative worldwide, which is first and foremost an environmental project. In the short run, we have a clear vision to avoid waste and minimise waste. Long term, we want to find a solution that reuses and recycles all textile fiber and creates new products. This can change the way fashion is made and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet.
C: Could you give us a couple of eco-friendly clothing hacks we can try on our own?
ASJ: There are many, you just need to be a little creative in altering your clothes. Cut the legs off of your jeans to make a pair of shorts, or the sleeves of a t-shirt to make a singlet—those are some of the really easy ones.
Check out some of the looks...