H&M x Lee: Duo Debuts Sustainable And Size-Inclusive 90s Denim Collection Made From Waste

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Clothing giant H&M has partnered with iconic 1990s jeans brand Lee to launch a sustainable and size-inclusive denim collection that will include recycled cotton jeans made out of 80% post-industrial waste and leather-free backpacks made out of cork and jacron paper.

H&M has just announced a collaboration with denim label Lee, which will see the fashion duo debut a sustainable and size-inclusive denim collection as part of the jeans brand efforts to address the growing demands of conscious consumers looking for sustainable fashion options.In the 1990s, Lee jeans and denim jackets were staples of teenager wardrobes across the globe, with the U.S.-based brand partnering with Levi’s and Wrangler for its denim production.

Speaking about the collaboration and the huge responsibility they carry as fashion giants, H&M CEO Helena Helmersson -previously the behemoth’s Head of Sustainability- said: “We have a huge responsibility to change how fashion is made and produced. A big part of this change comes through collaboration, sharing ideas and pushing for a sustainable future. H&M is proud to collaborate with Lee, to show how we can make denim in a better way.”

We have a huge responsibility to change how fashion is made and produced. A big part of this change comes through collaboration, sharing ideas and pushing for a sustainable future. H&M is proud to collaborate with Lee, to show how we can make denim in a better way

Helena Helmersson, CEO of H&M Group
Source: H&M

The just-launched designs are aimed at Gen Z style preferences, with a retro throwback feel inspired by the 90s. The collection will showcase H&M’s first 100% recycled cotton jeans, created from 80% post-industrial waste and 20% post-consumer waste.

The collection will further include cotton-free denim created from renewable man-made fibres, along with water-saving dyes and lower impact denim washes verified by a third party for their lower water usage, chemical, and energy consumption. Other greener materials include Texloop™ recycled cotton jersey, recycled cotton denim and Tencel™ Lyocell cellulosic sewing threads.

We just loved working with Lee to push for change. A change for more sustainable and circular denim garments. We looked at every detail and challenged each other in a positive way. It’s also amazing to work with Lee’s iconic designs and give them a bit of our flavor, for H&M denim lovers around the world

Designer Jon Loman at H&M

The clothes include carpenter style jeans, dungarees, dungaree dresses, crop tops, hoodies, bucket hats along with a showcase of statement pieces from Lees’ extensive archive, essential jersey pieces and accessories.

Source: H&M

Lee EVP & Global Brand President Chris Waldeck said of the partnership: “Lee is proud to be collaborating with H&M to continue our efforts to make better denim. Our brand was founded more than 130 years ago with innovation in mind, and today we are happy to be joining with H&M to advance denim into a more sustainable future.”

In addition, H&M has confirmed that it will share Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data on its website showing the water, C02 and energy impact of each denim garment from raw materials to end of use.

H&M designer Jon Loman echoed Waldeck’s sentiments: “We just loved working with Lee to push for change, a change for more sustainable and circular denim garments. We looked at every detail and challenged each other in a positive way. It’s also amazing to work with Lee’s iconic designs and give them a bit of our flavor, for H&M denim lovers around the world.”

In mid January, H&M received major backlash for the lack of size inclusivity in its Simone Rocha collaboration collection and as a result, the brand has ensured many of the Lee items are available in the brand’s H&M+ range catering to a size 4XL.

The fashion giant has been making increasing strides in sustainability, with a range of new collections making use of the latest in material tech and circular manufacturing practices.

H&M’s youth focused fashion brand Monki announced that it would create its first-ever circular line made out of recycled polyester using the hydrothermal separation system known as ‘The Green Machine’, which was developed in partnership with the H&M Foundation and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).

H&M collaborated with Danone Aqua as part of its Bottle2Fashion project, transforming 3.5 million PET bottles collected from the shores of Indonesia into recycled polyester used in the development of its latest kidswear collection.

The complete Lee x H&M collection will debut on February 11 2021 at select H&M Stores and on hm.com with prices starting at GBP£9.99(US$13.63).


Lead image courtesy of H&M.

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