Tuesday, 3 May 2011

H&M Conscious Collection

 H&M was my first port of call when I started my ethical lent way back in February, for a long time their righteous little green tags have encouraged me to part with my cash on the grounds that “it’s good for the world, right?” However, with my ethical head on I delved deeper into the little green tag, and to be honest “40% organic cotton” was not going to cut it with me anymore.  In fact, I was a little annoyed that they could promote green credentials without actually doing that much, I mean if The Body Shop can do cosmetics that are made from fairly traded ingredients, support local farmers and protect animals from cruelty on the high street than surely H&M could up their game from 40% organic cotton t-shirts.
And it seems they have...
Launched to coincide with April’s Earth Month, H&M have released their new “Conscious Collection”. The organic cotton is back but this time it’s partnered with Tencel, and recycled polyester. So far so good. 
The womenswear collection features white and lots of it. Broderie anglaise, blouses, tunics and pretty detailing combined with minimalist tailoring give a modern but romantic English summer feeling. However, the visual merchandisers at H&M are a sneaky bunch, and their big “conscious collection” promotional section instore also features some of their not so conscious collections. With a few white, summery non conscious items stuffed in between the well meaning collection, H&M loses points with me, obviously hoping that people would get caught up in the eco goodness and forget to check for that little green tag! Cheeky.
Some of the clothes are lovely and the price points are spot on which is one of the most important things about make conscious fashion work on the high street- I can’t be the only one who walks away from brands like People Tree because I can’t quite stretch to £80 for a summer dress... H&M are offering a well designed, well thought out collection which, crucially, combines fashion and eco credentials at an affordable and accessible high street price.
I definitely appreciate the effort here but we are still a long way away from having the much needed fashion equivalent of The Body Shop.  A good start and from a fashion point of view, a good, relevant collection  but I believe that there is further to go, H&M have thrown down a gauntlet, showing that it can be done and other high street retailers need to take note and step up their eco game.  Be wary when you shop though, that little green tag doesn’t always mean guilt free shopping- always check what you are actually buying.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice collection, but as you say look carefully for the labels.

    Sue xx