NEW YORK, United States — Fashion retailer H&M has launched its first ever activewear collection made from sustainable materials, as demand for conscious clothing options intensifies.
The collection, which includes a range of tights, sports bras, hoodies and tops for training, running and yoga, places emphasis on nature and sustainability through its prints and colour palette, but also the predominant use of recycled polyester and elastane. The result is a modern activewear collection that reflects the importance of conscious fashion for today’s consumer.
“By bringing together the functional and feminine, the aim is to give customers a stylish, conscious sports collection,” commented Petra Smeds, Head Designer of Sportswear for H&M.
“And not just through the fabrics – we utilized a new knitting technique that creates seamless garments while using less yarn or fabric waste. Blending function with sustainable thinking and fashion in this way is the way forward,” she added.
Characterising H&M’s continued commitment to sustainability, the collection is just one of the several steps H&M is making towards its goal of becoming 100% circular. Ultimately, the Swedish-born brand wants to create a closed loop for textiles in which unwanted clothes can be reused or recycled into new treasures, with the ultimate goal that by 2030 all of its products will be made of more sustainable or recycled materials.
More widely, the launch of an environmentally-friendly activewear collection such as this echoes a wider industry trend in which consumers are driving fashion brands to become more socially conscious.
“Young consumers are driving this shift in attitudes,” Alice Goody, Retail Analyst for Mintel told The Guardian.
“44% of younger millennials – the 17-26 age range – said they would like to see more eco-friendly fabrics used in clothes,” she added.
But, while awareness and interest in sustainable clothing are growing, for fashion giants like H&M, in order to truly capture an audience, sustainability alone isn’t enough.
With a new generation of innovative startups including Girlfriend Collective, Bella and Vyayama all vying for their share of the eco-activewear market, sustainable brands must offer high-quality design and craftsmanship if they want to remain relevant in the increasingly crowded market.