Last week I was teaching on a personal styling course and at the beginning of the week one of the students asked if I thought sustainable or environmental fashion was successful - it was something along those lines. I told them about the different lines, companies who have an ethical stance and of course reminded them about second hand buying, recycling etc. But the bottom line was in respect of styling I was not convinced by specific collections for the mass market.
I'm not an expert on this subject, although my old college LCF has the wonderful Centre for Sustainable Fashion. I am very much in favour of a raft of approaches to garment producing including sourcing of material, design, working conditions and practices but bottom line for any of these things to be ultimately successful the items have to be desirable. As consumers we buy things we desire and we are influenced by price too.
Thinking as a stylist without any preferences or emotional views (you know my I loathe designer/high st collaboration ones and celebrity ones even more!) I'm mightily impressed with H&M's Conscious Collection
It has been perfectly edited. All credit to stylist Robert Rydberg and the design team. I love the fact it has drawn upon Scandinavian heritage (I have Norwegian blood in there somewhere not Swedish so no bias!) and I love that it truly looks like a collection. Yes, the word conscious is a bit naff but otherwise we might have had an IKEA style word like Stolmen or Pax so I'll let it go.
I cannot testify to the quality of the products but it is H&M, it is very reasonable priced and from viewing online I have fallen in love with it. I will be buying the skirt and cardigan...
I feel there is something grown up about the two combined and nicely Scandinavian about the look it creates. However it is true that I am in love with all things Scandinavian since spending a summer reading only Scandinavian authors. Vintage Vixen sent me a Jo Nesbo one and I read all the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy as well, couldn't put any of them down.
But ultimately what H&M have done is drawn upon our desire to be more sustainable and our consciences regarding clothes production and given us something we can afford to buy. The items don't scream fashion and therefore they are items we can pick and choose to work in our wardrobes for a long time. I would splash the cash if I had it on quite a few pieces, I love the wool coat and overall H&M have raised the bar in a credible way.