The words “green” and “sustainability” are thrown around so much these days. And when you do hear them, most people immediately think of organic food, energy, recycling, etc. But sustainable fashion? How do the two connect? H&M’s Conscious Collection is making the connection and their goal is to make more sustainable fashion that is also appealing and affordable.
At the Vogue magazine headquarters this past Thursday, H&M held a panel discussion on efforts of sustainability within the fashion industry titled, “Green: The Trending Color In Fashion.” Parsons School of Design dean, Simon Collins moderated six panelists, Julie Gilhart, Helena Helmersson, Scott Mackinlay Hahn, Jasmin Malik Chua, Catarina Midby and Bruno Pieters, all versed in sustainability and environmental consciousness in the fashion industry.
The panelists agreed that tons of fabrics that can be recycled end up in landfills every year, increasing our carbon footprint. What it comes down to is that people just don’t care. There is an emotional component when it comes to fashion, and consumers first think about what they want first before what is right. In order for things to change, “there needs to be a revolution,” Simon stated at the beginning of the discussion. And that starts with educating and bringing awareness to the issue. Jasmin believes that change would likely be seen when the younger generation gets older because this younger generation is more open minded and passionate to change.
There are changes that scale from small to large, that both producers and you, the consumer, can do in sustainability efforts. Along with using organic cotton (H&M is the number one user in the world) Helena says that being energy efficient in to the workplace makes H&M proactive and unique.
How many times did you replace an article of clothing because a button fell off or you ripped it and your sewing skills aren’t that great (or lack there of)? Now, more stores offer tailoring services in hopes of producing less waste. Speaking of waste…if you do decide to toss something out, recycle it instead and get something in return! Take your unwanted clothes in any condition to H&M for recycling, and receive a voucher for a discount on your next purchase.
See, no good deed goes unnoticed. Our fast fashion habits are hard to break (I know if you have a hot date tonight, you’re going to go out and buy a dress and neglect that sexy LBD in the back of your closet) but you can try! Start your own revolution!