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H&M creatively innovates pineapple leaves, orange peels and algae into their latest Conscious Exclusive 2019 collection

H&M creatively innovates pineapple leaves, orange peels and algae into their latest Conscious Exclusive 2019 collection

Fashion with a conscience

Text: Stephanie Boey


H&M aims to use 100% recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials by 2030

Every year, H&M introduces a new material to their line-up for their eco-friendly, Conscious Exclusive line. In 2018, the Swedish retail giant announced the use of Econyl (regenerated nylon fibres made from fishnets and other nylon waste) and recycled silver (made from old candlesticks, sterling silver flatware, coins and scrap jewellery). For its ninth collection this 2019, H&M are stepping up their game by incorporating not one, not two but three new innovative materials: Piñatex (a leather alternative made from cellulose extracted from pinepple leaves), Bloom Foam (a plant-based flexible foam using algae biomass) and Orange Fiber (a silk-like fabric made from citrus juice by-products).

It's apt that the inspiration of the collection is the natural beauty of Earth and its resources. A relaxing colour palette of lavender, sand, aqua blue, coral pink along with design elements that pull from nature's minerals, trees and plants sum up a harmonious relationship between wearer and our surroundings. Pineapple leaves are rendered useless after the fruits are harvested, and are discarded and burned. Piñatex takes that unused resource and converts it into a leather-like material which can be seen on the multi-print jacket and cowboy boots with a high shine metallic finish. At a glance, there is no obvious disparity between the two materials, and Founder of Piñatex Dr. Carmen Hijosa vouches that the treated plant fibres are "flexible and strong" and is a viable alternative to its traditional counterpart.

 

The metallic print off-shoulder top appears to be made of fine silk but is surprisingly formed by citrus juice-by products. The peel which would have otherwise been disposed of is processed and transformed to produce a cellulose fabric sharing physical properties to silk. (We're never going to look at orange peels the same way again!) However, the most surprising among all the innovate materials would have to be the oversized ribbon sliders made from seaweed. The foamy sole of the casual slide ons are made from excess algae growth due to the rise in global temperatures, excess nutrient runoff and human activities. We tried them on and we can honestly say that walking on seaweed is surprisingly very comfortable.

 

View the full collection below:

The H&M Conscious Exclusive collection is now available at H&M Lot 10 and online at hm.com.

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