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H&M Wants People to ‘Cherish Waste’

The fifth iteration of H&M‘s eco-friendly Innovation Stories calls on consumers to “fall in love with materials made from waste.”

“The design team wanted to create a collection about love, intimacy, and forging connections—not just with each other, but with our wardrobes,” concept designer Ella Soccorsi said of the Cherish Waste collection. “Each piece has been designed to allow the wearer to express their true self, and to express their values by utilizing materials that combat waste.”

Designed for longevity, the range focuses on recycled, repurposed or low-impact materials, from ocean plastics to recycled polyester and bio-based fibers. Soccorsi wants consumers to enjoy their Cherish Waste garment and eventually “pass it on to someone new” after “they’ve got all the love they can from the piece.” Each item’s lining comes with a blank label where consumers can write messages to new owners.

Pieces in the range are made with recycled, upcycled and bio-based materials.

The fashion-forward line includes a bubblegum pink heart-shaped evening dress, a pale blue puffy mini dress and a pink knitted frock with spike-like details all made from recycled polyester, while a frill-trimmed blouse uses recycled silk made from waste.

Some innovations are first-time uses for the brand, like Mirum, a plant oil-based, leather-replacing biomaterial applied to a studded bracelet and white court shoes, and AirCarbon, a bio-based and biodegradable replacement for polymer-based materials as seen on a convertible chain necklace and rhinestone earrings feature black heart details.

“This collection is a celebration of love, filled with wardrobe heroes that feel comfortable to wear, even if they are dramatic, statement pieces,” creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson said. “My advice is to step out of your comfort zone and explore versatile combinations: dare to wear an oversized leopard-print coat with heart-shaped spots with a tight, cut-out bodysuit, or relax in a coordinated set with heart motifs inspired by foil balloons.”

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H&M's latest line from its Innovation Stories platform champions new, innovative materials.
Cherish Waste Courtesy

Available from May 5 on H&M’s e-commerce site and in select stores, the Cherish Waste collection retails for $17.99-$249 and includes bras and underwear, denim jeans, footwear, sunglasses, clutches, a leopard-print coat, a slip dress and bodysuit made from Renew cellulosic acetate, and thigh-high stockings.

London art director Ibby Njoya’s kaleidoscopic set helped capture the collection’s “effervescent energy” for the Cherish Waste marketing campaign photographed by Rafael Pavarotti, the Brazilian creative who’s worked with Naomi Campbell and Vogue Italia.

H&M’s four previous Innovation Stories have served up themed collections promoting sustainable materials, technologies and production processes since the concept launched last year. Cactus-based leather, yarns made from castor oil, and recycled fabrics from Texloop have all featured in the retailer’s innovation-driven “stories.”