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H&M’s New Collection Gives Y2K Designs a Water-Saving Makeover

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

Fast-fashion retailer H&M has added more fuel to its sustainability agenda. The company debuted a capsule collection in select regions in March featuring water-saving methods such as laser technology and more responsible dye processes. Customers in the U.S. and Canada will have access to the range beginning April 7 in H&M stores and online.

The denim-centric collection includes women’s low-rise flare, high-rise straight and skinny jeans, along with denim shirts, tops, miniskirts and distressed overalls, all nodding to the popular ’90s and Y2K reboot of today.

Denim in the collection features washes with a low-impact Environmental Impact Measurement (EIM) score from Spanish technology firm Jeanologia, which developed the technology in 2014 to determine the extent of a methodology’s water, chemicals and energy usage.

H&M dropped a women’s denim capsule featuring water-saving methods like laser technology and sustainable dye processes.
Lava La Rue for H&M Courtesy

H&M tapped West London rapper and designer Lava La Rue and Brooklyn-based, Japanese artist Anna Theroux Ling to model the sustainable collection in a new campaign. Select jeans styles are offered in sizes up to 4XL online and up to 18 in stores.

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The range follows through on H&M’s recent sustainable materials spree, with items in the collection comprised of fabrics containing recycled material from industrial waste and post-consumer waste, along with recycled threads, labels and pocketing and partly recycled metal zippers and trims. Last year, the company launched Innovation Stories, a series of capsule collections promoting the use of sustainable materials, technology and production processes across the garment industry. Collections included “fabrications of the future,” with innovations like Evo by Fulgar, a yarn made from all-natural castor oil and Desserto, a bio-based leather developed from cactus plants.

H&M also looked for help from sustainable partners when developing the new sustainable capsule, and partnered only with those who used water recycling systems during the washing stage. More responsible dyeing processes have been a top focus for the company, which recently invested in water-saving dye solutions from Alchemie Technology, a purveyor of textile dyeing and finishing technology. Funds will help support Alchemie’s commercial rollout of its Endeavour smart waterless dyeing and Novara precision digital finishing, and move to fully connected digital manufacturing.