Conscious Exclusive SS20: A journey to circularity

Conscious Exclusive SS20: A journey towards circularity

The new season’s most elegant collection is inspired by Golden Age train travel and made from grape skins, fashion waste and undyed organic cotton.

Imagine the year is 1920, and you’re travelling from Calais to the Côte d’Azur on the legendary sleeper train Le Train Bleu. The It girls and boys of La Belle Epoque are lounging in the dining car with jazz playing softly in the background. Before joining them, you head over to your compartment to get changed from a gauzy day dress to a flamboyant evening gown.

This is what the design team at H&M’s Stockholm atelier had in mind when creating the brand’s most glamorous and innovative collection: Conscious Exclusive for spring and summer 2020. 

“The stimulus for SS20 was the idea of glamorous train travel, which the design team felt was wonderfully symbolic of H&M’s journey as a company towards circularity. We were inspired by Le Train Bleu and the decadent creatives such as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso hanging out at Villa Santo Sospir in Cap Ferrat. We wanted to propose a collection that played to that decadent, carefree time but also contained enduring designs our customers will love wearing daily,” says Ella Soccorsi, designer at H&M.   

The collection’s key pieces include a floor-length ball gown, a taffeta mini dress, a ruffled day dress, a taffeta blouse with embellished sleeves and accessories ranging from flat blinged-out cocktail slippers to a vegan leather bag.  

Although the inspiration behind the collection is a century old, the collection itself is made from seemingly futuristic materials including VEGEA™ (a vegan leather made from discarded grape skins), CIRCULOSE® (a fabric created from 100 per cent upcycled clothing and fashion waste), RENU™ (a high-quality recycled polyester), recycled glass beads and denim made from 100 per cent undyed organic cotton. 

“For SS20, the Conscious Exclusive design team considered the emotional durability and afterlife of the garments they were designing more carefully than ever before. The team has doubled down on fabric composition, alongside utilising dyeing methods that come with less environmental impacts — we actually used a natural dye made from coffee grounds collected from H&M’s own production offices. We are committed to a truly holistic approach to sustainability, as well as to creating special pieces that will last a lifetime,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M.

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