So, as you probably know April 4th was the launch of the H&M Conscious Collection. The H&M Conscious Collection … Anyone else struck by the irony of that?
H&M, a retailer giant synonymous with fast fashion, has gotten a conscience and gets their act together. That wouldn’t be a bad thing – that would amaze me – the issue is that this newfound conscience is limited to one collection only. A week on, and now that the collection is sold out, what happens? Do H&M simply call it a day and end the effort at that? Why doesn’t the conscience extend to the rest of the store? How can a retailer strive for “more sustainable fashion” and yet display signs to let consumers know that there are 100+ new arrivals every week?
I accept that you can’t throw your business model out the window in one night and overhaul the production process. Since the launch of the last conscious collection in 2012, what have H&M done to improve working conditions or become more green? After a quick search I found that in 2012 H&M did indeed increased their use of organic cotton by 20%, which sounds great, but it’s only 8% of their cotton use.
I have nothing against H&M, I’ve written a post about an Acne-lookalike jumper. When I buy something it’s because it looks nice, not because I’m kidding myself that I’m doing the environment a favour by buying eco-friendly stuff. They’re clothes that I don’t really need, and it’s not necessary for a retailer to produce a separate collection to showcase their responsibility as a manufacturer.
I’ll stop there with the unanswerable questions. Reading The Myth of Sisyphus has clearly gotten to me…