PARIS — H&M on Tuesday announced the launch of its first collection using alternatives to materials of animal origin approved by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.
“[This] collection epitomizes our ongoing commitment to exploring innovative alternatives to animal-derived materials while still offering our customers cutting-edge fashion,” Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser at H&M, said in a statement, lauding the positive dialogue between the retailer and PETA throughout the collection’s creation.
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PETA corporate responsibility manager Laura Shields stated that much of the organization’s work was accomplished by “forming positive relationships with companies such as H&M as we strive to end the use of animal-derived materials.”
While the animal rights organization has regularly recognized the efforts of brands across the board to eliminate their use of products of animal origin, this is the first time a fast-fashion label’s collection has been formally PETA-approved.
In 2018, H&M was among a group of fast-fashion retailers who announced they would be banning mohair from their collections, following an awareness campaign from PETA that included video footage of goats being mistreated.
The materials used in H&M’s new Co-Exist Story collection include Vegea, a plant-based leather alternative derived from by-products of the wine industry; regenerated and recyclable nylon Econyl, and Flwrdwn, a down alternative made by material science company Pangaia using wildflowers and biopolymers.
Johnny Dufort/Courtesy of H&M
It is the third installment of the Swedish fast-fashion retailer’s Innovation Stories, a series of collections launched in March 2021 around more sustainable materials, technologies and production processes.
The first, titled Science Story, focused on the learnings of previous programs such as the Conscious Exclusive line launched in 2012, while the second looked at textile coloring, showcasing innovative dyes based on natural ingredients.
The Co-Exist Story collection, which launches online and in select stores on Nov. 4, will feature oversize volumes, ’90s partywear and functional outerwear, geared toward “modern urbanites, those who love the social hubs of city life but equally crave weekends spent wearing their waterproof rubber boots immersed in nature,” according to Malin Dubois, senior designer at H&M.
Key pieces for men and women include a one-shouldered fringed dress; leather pants with cutouts at the hips; an opulent teddy bear coat; XXL utility pants; a blue leopard fur blouson, and an oversize sweatshirt with a naïf sketch of a small critter with the words “Speak Up for Animals” splashed on the sleeves and chest.
Accessories will include fuzzy handbags and heels, while children will have their pick of tie-dye parkas and anoraks, as well as T-shirts and loungewear.
Also included in the Co-Exist Story are two lipsticks and a three-color eyeliner pack, both certified by British charity The Vegan Society — a first for the Swedish retailer.
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