Never been a fan of H&M if I am completely honest. My first memory of the giant fashion brand hitting Melbourne was when I was seventeen and devastated the mayor kicked all the Australian labels out of the GPO to fill it with tacky layouts and three levels of fashion that was coming out of some of the poorest countries in the world.
But I have to say I have been interested to find out more about this Conscious collection they have released and the true facts behind the whole facade. So are we as a industry really buying into this collection?
In the past H&M has won some of the biggest international awards for ethics and manufacturing, this includes being one of the best companies to work for despite the facts that state - 850,000 of their garment workers are not being paid a living wage and 25% of their manufacturing comes out of Bangladesh where the minimum wage is the lowest in the world.
In 2015 H&M produced 600 million new garments an increase of 50 million from the 2011. The brand has been built on a business model that encourages planned obsolescence hence why they have been so successful,however the company can never be truly sustainable as their whole business structure is built from being unsustainable.
So the Conscious collection and what its all about ; Well the fibres that are being used are mainly made from scratch they are all recycled and regenerated from silver, fishing nets etc and then turned into garments.
The price point is reasonable and for something that has been made from a 'regenerated fibre' as a consumer you would probably invest in it.
However there is no mention of the factories that these garments are coming out of, no mention of the wages people are being paid and how they have managed to keep costs down to still be making margin on the garments they have so called 'Consciously made'.
If they were serious about sustainability they would start by paying workers valid wages, decrease the amount of product they are pumping into the world and invest in changing their business model to keep up with demand for sustainability and the future of our planet. What's your opinion?