Dec 8, 2016

My Thoughts on H&M Conscious: What does the green label mean?

Read more about my thoughts on H&M Conscious by clicking on the read more button. 

The ones of you who have been following me for some time now, probably know that I'm not that big of a fan of H&M. I maybe have some socks and basic black tees, but that's it. However, a few weeks ago, when I announced that I'm drastically changing my fashion consumer behavior, I briefly mentioned the H&M Conscious Collection. I think everyone knows that H&M has a collection which they call conscious because the products in this collection are supposed to be more sustainable. But how conscious is this collection really? It's a topic that has been discussed widely; just search on google and you will find multiple opinion pieces on the matter. And here I am; bringing my own opinion to the table!

First impression

Let me start with saying why I'm actually writing this blogpost. Yesterday, for the first time in ages, I walked into an H&M again. Last weekend I'd made a round a long my favourite vintage spots in Rotterdam to search for some winter wear, but without success. I ended up on my couch with a dilemma. Was I going to allow myself to shop at with the consequence that I break my promise of only buying vintage clothing already? No I thought. Instead I decided to look for sustainable fashion brands. And the first thing that came to mind was H&M Conscious.

The next day I went to an H&M after school and the first thing I noticed was that the store didn't have a 'conscious section'. Most of the H&M stores are divided into sections; a divided section, a L.O.G.G section, a lingerie section etc. Therefore, I had expected that there would be a conscious section as well. But there wasn't, so I had to go through the whole store looking for the green labels which indicate that a product is part of the conscious collection. A little bit disappointing if I may say so. Quick question: do you guys know an H&M store that does have a separate conscious section?

But what does the green label actually mean?

Anyways, after walking around for a bit I'd collected a couple of green labeled clothing pieces. Most of the labels were attached to cotton products, mainly jeans and basic t-shirts. The label said the product was either made entirely or partly of organic cotton. I also found some products that were made of recycled materials. Okay, good, I thought. But what does this actually mean? What is recycled polyamide, for example? And when is cotton organic? I went home, turned on my laptop and this is what I found:

Organic cotton. According to H&M, their organic cotton is grown without the chemical pesticides and fertilisers, and contains no genetically modified organisms. With regards to sustainability this mainly means that less chemical waste is created. 

Recycled polyester & Recycled polyamide. Both of these fabrics are made from oil-based waste such as PET bottles, old fishing nets and carpets. H&M also states that they utilise leftover waste from their production to create these recycled fabrics. 

Lyocell. This is a fabric made from the fibre of certain trees. These trees grow quickly and require little water to thrive, and therefore, it is more sustainable than cotton. There are two types of lyocell: TENCEL (eucalyptus) and MONOCEL (bamboo).

These were the fabrics mentioned the most on the labels. However, here it says that H&M uses many other sustainable materials, like recycled wool, organic linen, organic silk and even recycled glass. I'm curious whether I'll ever see something made out of recycled glass in one of their stores though. 

So Yay or Nay?

Overall I would say that the H&M conscious collection is a good option in comparison to their 'normal' collections and other brands like Zara and Mango. On the one hand, I personally don't think that organic cotton on its own will do the trick, and for now it seems like that is their main focus. On the other hand I am really excited about their affordable, recycled products. In my opinion, recycling is the future and I feel that big companies like the H&M Group have the power to make this fashionable and affordable for the greater public. The best part I think is that the labels state the percentage of the product that is recycled. That way you really know what you're buying. For example, the black top I'm wearing in the picture is 56% recycled polyester.

From now on I will walk into an H&M once in a while and check their conscious collection. I suggest you do too! Especially when you're looking for good basics I recommend buying the conscious version, it's not even more expensive!

Oops, this post turned out way longer than I'd expected haha. Hope you gained some knowledge anyway!

Ps. I couldn't find the top I'm wearing in the webshop, so instead I thought I'd share three other nice things from the conscious collection!

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