Is H&M Ethical? It Depends on Whom You Ask

Sourcing Journal

When H&M debuts its eighth Conscious Exclusive collection on Thursday, it will be the first time it’s done so for the Autumn/Winter season.

“Usually they’re in the springtime,” Emily Scarlett, head of the Swedish retailer’s U.S. communications, said at a luncheon previewing the upcoming pieces at Blue Hill at Stone Farms in Tarrytown, N.Y. last week. “But we had two very fall-ish fabrics, which was why we wanted to do a fall collection.”

The two “fall-ish fabrics”? Recycled cashmere respun from leftover yarn, along with a tufted velvet derived from reclaimed polyester.

Awash in a romantic palette of black, dusky rose, mustard yellow, faded blue, off white and light gray, the lineup also includes some oldies but goodies, including recycled PET, in the form of a sequined floral jacket, and recycled wool, which features in a full-length coat with an oversized collar and thigh-high side slits. There is a printed organic-silk dress with billowy sleeves and a plunging V-neck in the back, a sleeveless top dripping with recycled-velvet streamers, and slingback stilettos that flaunt ribbons made from recycled polyester and Tencel.

The collection, Scarlett noted, is inspired by “artifacts and architecture and tapestry, which you can really see through some of the fabrication and some of the blouses, which have sort of a tapestry print to them.”

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