Much as we love our favourite fast-fashion giants, they aren’t necessarily known for being green. On-trend? Yes. Affordable? You betcha! Employing sustainable actions to ensure ethical business practices and the longevity of the plant? Unclear. The good news is, two of our favourites, H&M and Zara, are actually doing things to go green.
Here’s what you need to know.
With H&M’s 2017 Conscious Exclusive Collection, the brand is going even further with its mandate to be more sustainable. The collection doesn’t compromise on style—some of the high fashion pieces include a shimmery pink mini dress, a chiffon-like pleated gown and sleek button-downs. The sustainable part? The entire collection is made with recycled and organic materials like glass, polyester, hemp and linen and even the most delicate pieces (like that pink gown) are made from BIONIC®, a polyester made from recycled shoreline plastic.
Although the Conscious Exclusive Collection specifically focuses on sustainability, the brand is looking for ways to expand that ethos across the company’s entire collection. You can shop the regular Conscious Collection (look for the green tag) all year, but the brand is hoping to keep moving towards a greener future.
H&M works with independent suppliers and factories that adhere to the brand’s Sustainability Commitment, and the brand is committed to ensuring that the pay structure is improved upon so that all suppliers are paid a fair living wage by 2018. Other goals the brand has? By 2020 all of the cotton in the range (which is the base of many of the brand’s products and currently sits at 30% sustainable) will come from sustainable sources by 2020.
You can help by contributing to H&M’s garment initiative (don’t worry, they’re not looking for money). Just drop off your unwanted garments from any brand and in any condition, at an H&M store. This way, you can recycle your clothes and H&M can use fewer natural resources to make new ones. According to the brand’s website, since the garment collection initiative was launched in 2013, more than 32,000 tonnes (that’s over 70 million pounds) of garments have been given new life.