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H&M Debuts Minimalist, Sustainable Look for Spring

Simple yet sustainable designs come together in H&M’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection that captures the modern zeitgeist.

Centered on effortless dressing with a “sporty minimalist” vibe inspired by ’90s fashion, the “wearable mix” includes easy-to-wear silhouettes like jeans, slip dresses, sleeveless shirts, single-breasted blazers and pull-on shorts. The monochromatic color palette of white and cream offers season-less versatility, while subtle details like ruching, ties and patch pockets nod to the nostalgic fashion era.

The S/S ’21 collection also scales the fast-fashion giant’s use of Agraloop Biofibre, an innovative cellulose fiber made from stems and leaves. The fiber can be found in several pieces, such as the sleeveless cropped hoodie and softly structured trench coat.

H&M introduced Agraloop Biofibre in its Fall/Winter 2020 Conscious Exclusive collection, which the company describes as a “proven incubator for new technologies and materials.” Prior Conscious Exclusive collections have featured sustainable fibers like recycled polyester, Tencel, Bloom Foam made from algae and Naia Renew, a closed-loop cellulosic fiber that comprises 60 percent wood pulp and 40 percent recycled plastic waste.

The rest of the S/S ’21 collection follows through on H&M’s commitment to only use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. All of the cotton used in the line is either organic, recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way, and 64.5 percent of the garments in the collection are made from sustainable materials.

The women’s collection meets consumer demand for sustainability, comfort and functionality—qualities that trend forecasters say will shape fashion long after the pandemic. The topics are likely to come up in the work of H&M’s new global sustainability ambassador, Maisie Williams. Throughout 2021, H&M and the actor and environmental activist will embark on several initiatives around circularity, including the launch of H&M Looop Island in Nintendo’s popular game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

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Named after H&M’s recently launched garment recycling machine, which takes old clothes and recycles them into new ones, H&M Looop Island has been completely designed with a sustainable theme.
Maisie Williams’ avatar in the H&M Loop Crossing video game. H&M

Named after H&M’s recently launched garment recycling machine, which takes old clothes and recycles them into new ones, H&M Looop Island has been completely designed with a sustainable theme. Players can explore the island and recycle their game outfits into new ones in the first-ever “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” clothing recycling station the Looop machine.

Williams previously worked with H&M Group’s Weekday brand to model its first denim garments made from Infinited Fiber.

While fast-fashion’s quick-turn model is contrary to conscious consumerism, H&M has been relentless in advancing sustainable alternatives. Limited-edition collections and special projects have given H&M the opportunity to experiment with these emerging technologies. The brand recently launched Innovation Stories, a series of capsule collections dedicated to promoting the use of sustainable materials and production processes across the garment industry.

The first, entitled Science Story, showcased future-focused materials like Evo by Fulgar, a yarn made from all-natural castor oil, as well as Desserto, a bio-based leather developed from cactus plants, and Texloop’s recycled textile fabrics. A second collection focused on dye techniques that use plant-based pigments and digital textile printing.

H&M also partnered with British footwear brand Good News this spring to create a unisex sneaker collection made with recycled rubber soles and recycled cotton and Bananatex uppers made from banana plants.