H&M and their last masstige collaboration with Versace sent crowds into a frenzy for the limited-edition items.

Just as the fast fashion highstreet giant H&M debuted their designer collaboration with Versace to huge fanfare and crowds at most stores as the limited-edition collection went on sale a few weeks ago, today they announced their next collab: Marni. Set to design their spring collection, Marni, known for bright colors and bold prints, is what consumers of masstige designs should expect to see come Spring, 2012.

Hi-Lo or masstige design collaborations are a signature trademark of H&M which like many other big box stores (i.e., Target) brings high-end designers to the so-called masses with capsule collections for the stores that feature iconic elements of the designer. On the one hand, it makes shopping exciting for the consumers who think they’re getting something highend at an affordable price, while on the other hand, it makes the designer relevant to a market demographic that would probably never buy their wares.

The Versace collection not only included full ranges of men’s and women’9s apparel, but also footwear, accessories, and an entire home d’cor collaboration.

Marni X H&M to debut March, 2012.

According to H&M, the Marni collaboration will be available starting March 8, 2012 in around 260 stores worldwide and online, featuring both clothing and accessories all at H&M’s prices, meaning everyone will have the chance to enter Marn’s world.

“I wanted to create a true Marni wardrobe by revisiting all our favorite pieces in signature fabrics and prints. As always, I love juxtaposing prints and colours, mixing modern tribal with Bauhaus graphic adding sporty utilitarian elements,” stated Consuelo Castiglioni, Founder and Creative Director of Marni.

“We all love the collection here at H&M and we believe that our customers will do the same. Marni has such a modern touch with everything they do, mixing prints and accessories in a playful but chic way. It’s fantastic to see how Consuelo Castiglioni coordinates her designs, matching new combinations of print and colour, with such incredible craftsmanship behind every piece. The collection will arrive in stores at just the perfect time, as a lovely statement for spring,” responded Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor H&M.

The Marni collection is the latest designer collaboration for H&M, which has previously collaborated with brands such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garcons, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, and most recently Versace.

American Apparel Loses President%u2014Yet Another Shake-up
Tom Casey resigned as acting president of American Apparel on Nov. 18, which was 2 months shy of his original 15-month employment agreement.  This follows on the heels of Marty Staff, chief business development officer, leaving after only 7 months. Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer of American Apparel, did not say why, only that he wishes Casey the best, according to recent reports.

Casey, who formerly was the Chief Financial Officer for Blockbuster before it filed for bankruptcy, was brought to American Apparel to help the company deal with its operating and capital structure as it continues to forge new ways to stay afloat.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, American Apparel will continue to pay Casey his $400,000 annual salary for the next year. American Apparel incurred a loss from operations of $20.9 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss from operations of $38.2 million in the year-ago period. As of Sept. 30, the company owed $51.1 million on a $75 million credit facility with Bank of America that matures in July, in addition to $89.5 million of outstanding term loans with Lion Capital.

New Standards for Environmental Performance by the Giants
adidas Group, C&A, H&M, Li Ning, NIKE, Inc. and Puma announced the release of a joint roadmap to reach zero discharge by the year 2020. Like many other giants moving towards more eco-friendly and sustainable practices (i.e. Levi Strauss, Uniqlo), this plan aim to set a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry.

Their timeline includes:
– Jointly communicating the mission of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals to all suppliers beginning immediately
– Conducting pilot projects at major, vertically integrated and materials suppliers between 2011 and 2013 to better understand scope of use and discharge of hazardous chemicals
– Verifying that nine classes of hazardous or persistent chemicals are not currently used
– Initiating an inventory of all chemicals used in apparel manufacturing by the end of 2012
 Disclosing the results of all pilots and studies undertaken as part of this commitment
– Reporting regularly and publicly on our progress against this commitment (quarterly in 2012, annually from 2013 to 2020)

Here’s more and how you, the consumer, can comment up until December 31, 2011:

The joint roadmap is a living document: it will continue to be refined as we gain additional intelligence and insights through our initial pilots and research, as well as our collaboration with other brands and stakeholders. We commit to reviewing and updating the roadmap at least annually and making the results public.

In releasing the roadmap, we have asked SustainAbility to solicit feedback from a key group of stakeholders over the next six weeks. In addition, we are also accepting comments from the public through December 31, 2011. All comments can be directed to ztdi@sustainability.com. Based on the feedback, we will consider refining the roadmap in 2012.

Tackling and achieving the goal of zero discharge is a complex challenge one that our brand collaboration cannot solve alone. Our vision is that the roadmap serves as a benchmark and that many more brands join us in our efforts.

Ultimately, we want and need a broad array of participants to partner with us in this endeavor chemical suppliers, academics, NGOs, textile experts, entrepreneurs, policy makers and others. We understand that we are setting out to change the way apparel and footwear is manufactured, globally, and are thus casting our net wide for the best ideas and solutions.

We have achieved our first milestone. On September 26 to 28, 2011 we met with over 30 brands, chemical companies and other experts in a workshop which forged this roadmap. Such engagements will continue as we develop and deliver against an industry standard for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the supply chain.

In publishing this roadmap, adidas Group, C&A, H&M, Nike, Li Ning and Puma call on others in the global apparel and footwear industry to join us in this vital undertaking, which has one aim: to safeguard the environment for future generations.