I was interested to read today about H&M’s upcoming Waste collection (above). In a nutshell, they’re using leftover fabric from the recent Lanvin collaboration to create a capsule range. It won’t be designed by (or have anything to do with) Alber Elbaz.
The first thing that springs to mind is the scandal which faced H&M last year, when bags full of their unsold clothes were dumped outside a store in New York.
Clearly the Waste collection is a much more preferable use for wastage (doy), although with companies like Urban Outfitters already recycling their lines through the Urban Renewal scheme, it’s perhaps not such a new idea.
It’s interesting that this scheme is only coming in to play now with the Lanvin leftovers. A cynic might question why they’re really interested in using up fabric from one of their most successful collaborations – eking sales out that little bit longer? Or good luck to them, if they’ve got it lying around and there’s demand for it, kudos for getting on with it and being totally upfront about it.
Cabbage is a term used in the fashion industry for leftover fabric. If you don’t cut your pattern properly, or plan before you lay it out, you get left with loads of cabbage. If you’ve spent months on a distinctive print which is instantly recognisable, you can’t very well just leave lying in a bin in the factory – it’s a waste of money, and it’s also used for creating those really top-end knock-offs. This is a clever way to deal with it.
Ultimately, I’m all for anything that reduces waste and promotes sustainability. Fast fashion high street chains are some of the worst culprits in terms of responsibility for the planet, so anything like this is a step in the right direction – I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with Waste next.
Fingers crossed for that beige and maroon skeleton print they did c. 2004.