{iStyle} Get Eco-Chic with H&M’s Conscious Collection

via We Heart It

With the onset of spring before us, it’s time to dust off those wedges, pull out your sundresses and prepare for the sun’s golden rays.

And what fashionista doesn’t love a little seasonal shopping? Better yet—who doesn’t love a little retail therapy when it doesn’t just benefit you—but it also benefits the environment!

That’s where the trendy favorite, H&M steps in.

Eco fashion has appeared ultra hot for some time now. But with the launch of H&M’s new exclusively white spring Conscious Collection – which debuted perfectly aligned with Earth Day – making the transition to organic has never been so much fun.

via We Heart It

H&M’s eco-friendly Conscious Collection is built upon a foundation of sustainable textiles, such as recycled polyester, organic cotton and linen, and Tencel—biodegradable cellulose made from wood pulp.

According to a recent post from NWsource, a Seattle-based media outlet, the Conscious Collection is an

“ongoing line that will be featured at H&M stores at different times throughout the year, and in different forms”.

We’ve seen artisan, couture designers produce eco fashion collections, but a full scale collection of completely sustainable materials coming from a major retailer, such as H&M is certainly an achievement.

“It’s no longer just about organic cotton. The possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco-smarter materials are huge now. By designing recurring Conscious Collections we have the opportunity to show, in a variety of ways, what’s possible using more sustainable fabrics,” H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson stated.

To further develop its mission toward eco-success, the fashion powerhouse, reached out through a Earth Day-inspired press release, outlining the corporation’s goals and commitments for 2011.

Some of the release’s key highlights included:

• H&M announced a target for all cotton to come from more sustainable sources by 2020.
• A total of 68,000 cotton farmers were educated on more sustainable farming practices through our active engagement in Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). 2010 also saw the first cotton harvest from the BCI.
• H&M used more organic cotton than ever before in our products, a total of 15,000 tons. This is an increase of 77 percent compared to 2009 and it makes H&M one of the largest users of organic cotton in the world (2009: rank 5).
• 1,600 tons of recycled materials were turned into new clothes.
• H&M played an active role in forming the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, working to create a universal index to show the environmental impact and fair labor practices for clothing and footwear production.
• H&M saved 50 million liters of water in denim production relative to previous production methods. We plan to introduce this technique for all our denim suppliers in Bangladesh.
• H&M reduced the energy use per square meter in all H&M stores by 8 percent from 2007-2010. This shows a good progress against the target to achieve 20 percent reductions by 2020.

“With size comes responsibility and influence. I want our customers always to feel that we do our best to ensure that the fashion we offer has been made, transported and sold responsibly. To achieve this, transparency is key and our Sustainability Report is an important tool to show our progress and challenges,” said Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M.

It’s not just the environmentally supportive materials that are catching people’s attention—the high quality designs and coveted trends conveyed in each piece of the collection are also turning heads.

H&M struck gold, when the mass retailer won a 2011 Heart of Green Award for Best New Sustainable Fashion Line from the ever-popular, green lifestyle site, TheDailyGreen.com

Each piece is created in a varying shade of white—which just happened to be the hottest hue for the season on past Fashion Week runways.

The collection can be described as causal romantic includes both lace in addition to subtle touches of minimalism—as with most H&M signature collections, there are separate pieces for men, women and children—all which fit seamless together into one cohesive theme.

The women’s collection showcases frilly white lace tunics, billowing peasant-style blouses, maxi skirts as well as classic tailored staples such as shorts, cropped pants and a sleek, fitted white blazer.

The Conscious Collection prices stay within H&M’s signature price point, ranging from $9.95 to $59.95, allowing you to splurge on style, without splurging on price.

Need even more of a reason to check out H&M’s Conscious Collection?

Why not ask the always lovely Natalie Portman—remember the white dress that mother-to-be, Black Swan star, wore to a pre-Oscar party?

Well Elle UK sure does…

via Racked.com

Everyone seemed shocked to discover that Portman’s white hot frock came from H&M; but the lace-sleeved mini came from, yup you guessed it, H&M’s super chic Conscious Collection.

Helena Helmersson, Head of CSR at H&M, summed it up the best,

“I am happy to see good progress in our sustainability work. To remain at the forefront of our industry we will gradually broaden our scope to take into account every part of our product’s life cycle”.

Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams University graduate living in New England. Graduating with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concentration in Italian, Ahern is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. Currently she is a Social Media & Content Strategist for a Rhode Island-based digital marketing firm. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.
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  1. “With size comes responsibility and influence.” Why don't more companies believe that?