Wine, Sun, and Denim: How H&M is Slowly But Surely Making the Fashion World More Sustainable

HM-Share-ImageThe world of fashion is changing. Gone are the days where shoppers visit high-end boutiques in order to get custom fitted garments, and in are the days where fast fashion reigns supreme. While the luxury markets and top name brands of Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Hermes, are still going strong for their niche market, more and more Americans are turning to shops that offer fashionable items at a low cost that are meant to be replaced year after year.

Retailer HandM is just one of these fast fashion outlets. However, in an effort to stick out among their cutthroat competitors, HandM has released a new marketing plan for the next 10 plus years.


Their idea? To go completely sustainable.

By 2030, HandM has made a vow to go completely renewable — meaning only using recycled materials and renewable resources. This includes everything from reusing cotton and plastics when creating material and utilizing water along with other renewable sources for energy production.

To bring their idea to fruition, HandM has started an independent, not-for-profit foundation that rewards scientists and entrepreneurs for innovative textile ideas that HandM can implement into their stores. Known as The Global Change Award, this foundation recently brought five sustainable thinkers to the global stage. And although the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic every year, these innovations may change the future of the textile industry for the better.

Solar textiles

Typical synthetic fibers, such as nylon, are created by using a nonsustainable oil, so researcher Miguel A. Modestino has developed a way to create nylon using plant waste, solar energy, and water. These fibers also attract harmful carbon from the air as they’re worn, which helps to combat air pollution and provide cleaner air– much like a tree.

Leather from grapes

Italian leather manufacturer Rosa Rosella Longobardo have developed a way to create leather from the waste produced by making wine. This grape leather will be biodegradable, and won’t even look that much different than animal leather. For comparison, traditional top grain leather means that the hide is from the top 3/64 of an inch of .9 mm to 1.5 mm of the outer grain of the leather hide. Grape leather will have similar measurements and quality.

Denim-dyed denim

Blue jeans are a fashion staple worldwide, but the process of dying the cotton blue is one of the most harmful practices in the fashion industry. Luckily, scientist Xungai Wang had created old jeans to dye new ones. What’s better is that this dye will be so similar to what jeans look like today that the user won’t know the difference! Plus, this process is cost effective, which means the jeans will be cheaper in the long run.

Interested shoppers will have to be patient to experience these interesting textiles for themselves as there is no word on when these inventions will show up in HandM stores.

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