H&M, the fast-fashion giant from Sweden continues to blaze trails going into the holiday season with their latest masstige collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela, and latest reports from the Global Sustainable Textiles Market Report that once again, they are the largest manufacturer of organic cotton in the world.
First, the brand is known for their incredibly hyped collabs with top designers, bringing the “masses” top fashion designs usually ordained for the rich and famous. The MMM collab, which launches on November 15, 2012, is the type that will have lines around the block in hotspots like New York City and Tokyo, based on the 100-piece collection featuring everything from dresses to shoes, overcoats, oversized turtleknecks, pants, sparkly tights, hitched skirts, and menswear.
The latest video features the streets of Paris and models dancing on a chair and another near a lamp post with a dove on her head. Check it out here.
While obviously the MMM X H&M is achieving international fame before its launch, the collection that’s sure to inspire youth culture also happens to be another they are debuting on their own called The Gray Concept, featuring punk rock looks. Leather jackets, angled black skirts, skintight pants for guys, and a series of cool videos and photos of hair-whipping models in two-toned hair, provides an overall essence of Warped Tour in the winter (think their upcoming London Warped November 10th), and you can see why this collection will be popular in the near future.
Recently there has been a renewed recognition in the importance of music and merch as an influential part of youth culture fashion for decades. FIDM in downtown LA is even launching a museum exhibition starting this weekend, November 10th called “Ripped: Expressions from the Underground,” featuring rock enthusiast Cesar Padilla’s collection of over 1,000 T-shirts celebrating the visual history of counterculture music T-shirts and iconic designs from some of the most influential punk/post-punk and indie rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s.
H&M is also known for their strong sustainability plans. Currently, they have a relief effort system set in place for the Red Cross and those that would like to donate to help victims of Superstorm Sandy. However, their strategic goal has always been to use more sustainable cotton production by 2020.
According to the Textile Exchange’s Global Sustainability Textile Report, H&M has become the world-leader in using organic cotton. “We congratulate H&M for again leading the list of the biggest users of certified organic cotton in the world. H&M’s ambitious program continues to drive demand for organic cotton and other more sustainable fibres. This supports farmers, encourages innovation and with its fashion forward Conscious Collections, H&M lifts more sustainable fashion to scale. This strategic work serves as a model for adopting and expanding the use of greener materials in the fashion industry.” states LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange.
H&M has been using certified organic cotton since 2004. All organic cotton used for H&M is independently certified and clothes are clearly labeled with a dedicated hangtag allowing consumers an informed choice.
“We plan to further increase our use of organic cotton in the future, beside making strong investments in Better Cotton and gradually increasing our use of recycled cotton. Cotton is the raw material we use the most and our good progress against our goal means major improvements for people and the environment in cotton producing communities.” says Henrik Lampa, Sustainability Manager Product at H&M. As an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative, H&M has invested more than EUR 2 million in total until 2013 in helping hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers to grow more cotton with less water and less chemicals through trainings conducted by Better Cotton Initiatives partner organizations such as WWF and Solidaridad.
Overall, the various initiatives and fast, trend-setting styles and collaborations of H&M are among reasons youth culture continues to move towards this brand (see also our Fall Youth Culture Study 2012). With Holiday shopping season underway, the latest concepts from H&M, from masstige collabs to music-inspired styles, to popular sustainability measures which continue to attract a new generation of consumers, may prove to be a formula for success.