H&M is rolling out its first sustainability-focused collection, featuring apparel made from cactus leather.
The collection called “Science Story” features clothes made with several natural and recycled materials. Some of the collection materials include EVO by Fulgar, a natural yarn made from castor oil and Desserto, which is a plant-based alternative to leather, produced from cactus plants.
“Innovation Stories is a platform that pushes our experimentation to the next level. The initiative encourages our work with scientists and developers and puts a spotlight on our progressive ideas. Science Story is a homage to the years of research and experiments behind these incredible materials,” said Ella Soccorsi, Concept Designer at H&M.
H&M‘s move to launch a sustainability-focused collection comes after facing criticism for the past several years on its environmental impact.
The company is, however, looking to clean up its act by increasing its use of sustainable materials. It has set a goal to use 30 percent recycled materials by 2025, according to its 2020 Sustainability Performance Report.
Meeting and exceeding that goal will be critical for H&M as a growing share of consumers are choosing to shop with more environmentally conscious brands. This is especially true for Gen Z consumers and millennials. More than half of Gen Z consumers and millennials state that they are willing to spend an incremental 10 percent or more on sustainable products, according to Forbes.
In recent weeks, H&M has faced a massive boycott in China for its stance against the use of Xinjiang cotton, which is said to be produced by forced labor in the country’s Uyghur detention camps. The company has been booted from several major Chinese eCommerce sites, such as Taobao, which is run by Alibaba, as well as JD.com.
H&M has since vowed to regain trust of shoppers and business partners in the country.
“We are dedicated to regaining the trust and confidence of our customers, colleagues, and business partners in China,” the Swedish fashion retailer said on its website.
“By working together with stakeholders and partners, we believe we can take steps in our joint efforts to develop the fashion industry, as well as serve our customers and act in a respectful way,” the company noted.