What do you think about H&M’s Eco Steps?

Hello Readers,

H&M will launch this week a Conscious capsule collection with Ever Manifesto‘s collaboration- a publication and sustainability think tank.

The pieces are made of organic cotton, silk, leather, recycled polyester, etc… What does it mean?

Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton and is grown in subtropical countries such as Turkey, China, USA from non genetically modified plants, that is to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. (source: wikipedia)

HM-Conscious-Collection-Spring-2014-Campaign-6

The collection is inspired by bohemian couture with the flair of Spanish flamenco. The line is beautiful but I really think it will be hard to wear for the everyday life. I won’t personally don’t get anything. Prices are higher than what we are used to know with the Giant fast fashion retailer. How do you feel about that? Are you willing to pay more if it’s made of sustainable materials? Or if you are the kind of green customers, do you think eco fashion labels should save you a couple of $$?

I really like the steps H&M are taking but I can’t help myself thinking it’s just marketing greenwashing oriented!

How ironic is it for the Fast Fashion Giant Retailer to go “Eco fashion” while it’s undeniable that its model is itself wildly unsustainable, with its focus on producing cheap disposable clothing for a world where tastes seem to change by the minute. As a pioneer of this business model, H&M is fast forwarding fashion trends, as well as driving down the costs of clothing to the delight of consumers but the detriment of competitors, including ones that operate more sustainably.

Besides, reading all these “incidents” don’t make the brand looks better in its Conscious Plan:

– Although H&M is a member of the Fair Labor Association, which aims to improve working conditions in factories, the company was recently hit with a slew of bad press after a series of mass fainting incidents at partner factories in Cambodia.

– A Greenpeace report alleged that H&M-affiliated factories are discharging hazardous chemicals into rivers in China.

– In 2010, the German edition of the Financial Times reported that H&M was knowingly passing off genetically modified cotton as organic. That same year, it was discovered that an H&M store in Manhattan was destroying and discarding bags of excess merchandise. H&M representatives insisted that the incident was isolated, and that company policy is to donate unworn clothing to charity.

One point I like and believe can make a difference is using the brand’s popularity to educate customers about one of the world’s most polluting industries and change their behavior for the better but please, let’s not hear one more incident like the above!

When you think about the whole chain, not only the fabrics are involved but the transportation (gas), packages, labels which are all polluting actors… Is H&M thinking about these other factors?

In a world where resources are limited – even though most of people think and act like it’s not – are you willing to make a change in your wardrobe for the future of our planet and our children? And at which price?

I’m looking forward to read your comments and opinions as there is a project growing in my mind for a greener fashion future!!! 😉

Happy Monday.

 

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4 thoughts on “What do you think about H&M’s Eco Steps?

  1. Found this post really interesting, I’m looking to take a course in fashion management which involves an ethics aspect as would be expected, while chatting with the corse leader we discussed the idea of is the economy of the world willing to invest in Eco friendly products, I believe there is a demand however I may be some what smaller currently I reckon over time we will become more aware and perhaps invest in these industries. The only problem is the price!!! Who wants to invest in a short term trend if the materials are so expensive it almost goes against the concept H&M are trying to sell to the consumer, of lower quality, up to date trends at affordable prices much like its rival zara. I suppose it’s down to the sales at the end if it, maybe it will be a success
    Hope this wasn’t too long winded haha
    ♻️

    • Hello, yes I totally agree, it goes against H&M core brand of the fast fashion and maybe the retailer should add to its action plan to reverse that trend; create more timeless pieces. I know the problem is often the high price for pieces that use sustainable fabrics/materials but if we were wearing more casual, timeless cloth with higher quality which will last longer, will you be willing to pay a bit more and have a smaller wardrobe but higher end? Also what will be interesting to look at, is the real cost of these products with a reasonable margin that will still make a brand profitable. I think more often, eco brands target customers with a higher purchasing power because they are more educated about “eco fashion” rather than customers who will care more for price and trend. Don’t you think? It’s definitely a smaller market – a niche market but I believe demand is there and growing. The more people will get educated about it, the more they will be concerned. It’s the same market as the organic food and natural cleaners that was underserved in the past and now have gained mainstream appeal as awareness of the benefits of natural living grows.

  2. While such eco-campaigns are pervasive and attractive, most consumers prefer to save green — money. For H&M, the pay off is more in the form of building goodwill for the brand, not short-term sales. I think their customers don’t want to pay more.

  3. But that’s not to say there isn’t a market for it! Sure, some people have become hypercritical because of greenwashing, but I’m willing to bet there’s a solid base of socially responsible ecocentrics out there who are willing pay the ‘real’ cost, irregardless of whether the economy picks up. Of course, with education, others will follow suit.

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