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The bi-annual release of H&M’s more sustainable partywear collection, Conscious Exclusive, is launching next week; pencil April 11 into your calendar. Of course there’s good reason to argue that sustainable would be not buying any new clothes at all, especially not at the high street, but if you’re willing to really think it through, know that you’ll wear it, love it, treat it with love and care, and take full responsibility for the garment’s remaining life cycle, then maybe make a purchase? Point is: don’t buy things you don’t need, even if they’re made consciously.

That said, what we find most interesting about this spring’s Conscious Exclusive collection is the new textile innovations, and this is a field where H&M is pretty far ahead thanks to investments in research and development of sustainable materials. This time, they’re introducing three new fibers with the potential of being completely game-changing. Ready?

First is Bloom Foam, which they’ve used in the sole of a slip-in sandal. It’s a flexible, high-performance foam made from algae biomass manufactured in a way that helps to clean and restore the environment by turning green water into clean water. We knew algae was an up-and-coming eatable, but this is definitely taking it next-level. According to the maker, it’s going to completely change the footwear industry, and we can’t wait to see it happen.

Then there is Piñatex, which is not completely new to us (we know Edun has been using the material for their Bibi Bags), but it’s definitely one that would be interesting to see in a more commercialised context. So, what is it? As you might have guessed from the name it’s a textile made from pineapple, or the leaf fibre to be more exact, which is an all-natural by-product of existing agriculture. The texture of the material is somewhat like leather, and is therefore a perfect replacement for animal hides. Let’s make the switch permanent, like now?  

Third is Orange Fiber, which is a complete revelation to us. It’s made from citrus peel – a by-product from fruit juice production transformed into a light, silk-like cellulose yarn that reduces waste and saves natural resources. This is exciting stuff, and shows that there is great potential in things that you would normally dismiss as worthless (imagine the potential). Used in a blend with lyocell, another cellulose fiber, it creates a very luxe-looking fabric.

Other materials found in the Conscious Exclusive collection are more familiar ones, like recycled polyester, plastic and sterling silver, and organic linen and silk. We only wonder when this will go beyond the two drops a year and be the standard for every single collection. Perhaps by 2030, if we’re to believe the company’s sustainable materials goal. Keeping hope up.

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