Organic September Day 27: H&M Conscious Clothing - Is it enough?

27 Sep 2015

I popped into town last week for a quick look around a couple of shops and whilst I was in H&M I found their Conscious range. Since working with People Tree and learning about other ethical, organic clothing brands, I have been making more of an effort to buy organic clothes when I buy new things as everything we buy has an effect on someone, or some thing, somewhere down the line. 
"At H&M, we have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. We want to help people express their personality and feel proud of what they wear. I’m very excited to see the progress we’ve made so far and how this will help us to make you an even better offer – and create a more sustainable fashion future", says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO.

Our commitments:

I picked up an organic vest top, the Short Sleeved Henley Shirt and some underwear from their Conscious range. Whilst it might not be up there with the high standards that People Tree have when it comes to Fairtrade labour etc, buying organic cotton is still a good start in my opinion, especially for the environment and sustainability in the fashion industry. The striped blue & white vest top is 70% organic, the 3/4 sleeved top is 95% organic (5% elastane) and the underwear is 90% organic. You can view the full Women's range here - Conscious - Sustainable Style

Obviously there is the issue that the rest of the H&M line isn't organic, ethical or sustainable. It's sort of like buying natural or organic skincare from a brand like L'Oreal who just make a natural range to jump on a bandwagon. So whilst I am happy that retailers are starting to become a bit more eco, there is still a long, long way to go. Out of their whole two floor store in my hometown, 1% was probably how much they had in the Conscious range, which simply is not enough in my opinion. Especially considering it wasn't even much more expensive than their standard range, for example the vest tops were only about £1 more! This does make me wonder how much more they're actually paying the suppliers also. (There is more online, however there was very little in the actual store and we all know pants the H&M online delivery service is...)
After doing more research on H&M (see their website) and their conscious range, I think I'll be swaying towards them first when I need some new clothes, but I do think more needs to be done & more clothes out of their entire range needs to be Conscious.

FYI, I don't actually buy clothes that often. As I wear my work uniform 6 days a week, I just don't need new clothes so I tend to wear things until they're worn, they don't fit or I've shrunk them in the wash...then I'll either sell them on eBay or pass them onto a charity shop. H&M also offer a way to recycle your clothes, whether they new or old. Simply take a bag of clothes or household textiles like old cleaning cloths/tea towels into a H&M store and they'll give you a £5 voucher per bag that you can use when you spend over £25.

Have you bought from H&M Conscious before? What do you think of the range? Do you think its a step in the right direction, or they're simply not doing enough?

Amber
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