Let’s admit that sustainable fashion is still quite an obscure term, shrouded in mystery and stamped with uncertainty. Even though this environment-responsible philosophy of consumption emerged in the late eighties, it’s probably only in the past few years that designers have become widely aware of the pollution fashion industry causes and are challenging themselves to engage in the right ways to produce and present their creations. And by right I mean not only making sure the production process doesn’t have any harmful impact on the environment, but also showing respectful treatment to industry workers and setting an example for other companies and future generations.
This week, a meaningful initiative by H&M was presented to its worldwide audience: the new Conscious Exclusive collection made from recycled shoreline waste. It doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, but once you see an ethereal, floor-skimming and awe-inspiring dream plissé gown from BIONIC® (for those not initiated: It’s a recycled polyester born from, yes, the already mentioned shoreline waste) worn by iconic Russian model Natalia Vodianova, one cannot continue thinking ecological materials are an obstacle to produce luxurious and beautiful clothes (who even said that?) The collection, available in the stores from April 20, won’t be limited to womenswear or menswear: Clothes for kids and fragrance are also included so socially responsible habits are promoted in different spheres. This collection is all about shattering existing stereotypes concerning sustainable materials and the difficulties that surround the production.
Bearing in mind that fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters, such collections should actually become a norm. At the time, they’re still garnering attention mainly because of their exclusivity. If more and more companies were to follow, it could seriously revolutionize the way we consume fashion. The role of celebrities and influencers shouldn’t also be neglected: Just remember Emma Watson, wearing a Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles in Met Gala 2016. It should be reminded that ecological approach to fashion is not only the designers’ but also customers’ responsibility: we’re used to hearing we shouldn’t buy too much because: a) most of the things bought spontaneously won’t be ever worn, b) we lose our money and it’s not economical to behave this way, c) we don’t really ned a lot of things to create an exceptional style, but… the argument of doing harm for nature by buying irresponsibly is still quite rarely evoked.