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Conscious Dressing: When Fashion Meets Sustainability

Conscious Dressing: When Fashion Meets Sustainability

Lylamod presents H&M Conscious Exclusive: with 4 dresses to style for every Occasion. A special collection using organic materials to make affordable and sustainable, high-end fashion. This year sees a palette of greens, white and black set on stunning floral jacquards, abstract embroideries and prints. Christy Turlington Burns - a model, and the founder of maternal health organisation, Every Mother Counts - is the face of the campaign:

“Ever since I learned about this collection I’ve been really impressed by what it stands for and the designs are equally appealing. Fashion and sustainability is no longer a contradiction in terms and I think re-using and recycling is an important initiative across fashion. It’s really inspiring to see such fashion-forward designs being made from recycled materials.” 

The Social Midi: Organic silk printed dress with long sleeves. Material: 100% Organic silk

The Statement Gown: Green floral jacquard made from recycled polyester. Material: 96% Recycled polyester, 4% Metallise fibre

A modern expression of beauty and powerful femininity

H&M Conscious Exclusive The Party Piece: A relaxed, easy-to-style going out dress. Material: 55% Lyocell, 35% Metallised fibre, 10% Silk 

 The Daytime Maxi: In cooling organic linen. Material:75% Organic linen, 25% silk

 (All images by H&M)

Along with organic linen, cotton and silk; TENCEL™ (regenerated fibre made from wood cellulose) and recycled polyester, H&M introduced 2 new sustainable materials this year: recycled silver and ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated fibre made from fishnets and other nylon waste. (Read more on

The collection launched just before Earth Day. Timely, in light of fashion’s growing impact on the environment, gaining its reputation as, "the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil.". As our clothing become cheaper and more abundant, do we ever stop to wonder – at what cost? As Vogue states: "It’s fair to say that many shoppers remain unaware of the damage fast fashion’s buy-now-wear-once system causes."

What is Fast-fashion? Every day we dress ourselves in fast fashion. A phenomenon where competitive brands introduce more lines per year at lower costs. Known as 'micro-season', a fashion cycle is now designed, produced and delivered in two weeks. (Twice a year, Spring Summer and Fall Winter seasons, were far more common in the 1990s.) Achieved by copying well-known designers’ designs, using cheap labour and materials. But, the pressure to deliver in weeks with low cost is where it is particularly bad for the environment. And it also means that corners will be cut. (Read about the Rana Plaza tragedy here.) Add to this the aggressive and constant marketing campaigns that throws us off-balance. A system designed to make us believe that we have nothing to wear, since items we buy become outdated as soon as new trends hit the store. Fast fashion is also made to fall apart so you will replace quickly. Loose buttons, mixing inappropriate fabrics, rough-stitching of delicate materials are some industry “tricks".

To bring us up to speed, here are 8 quick facts on fast fashion and its shocking impact on sustainability:

All is not lost as there are steps we can each take to help reduce our fashion footprint as consumers. A study by Green Strategy suggests 7 forms of more sustainable fashion:  

At Lylamod we choose quality over quantity. We want our clothes to tell a story to our daughters, and we ask: would she wear this too in 30 years time? We also believe in equality. (See this Forbes article on how fast fashion disempowers Women, read it now.) If you feel like we do, join us and rent the dresses to wear once especially for the special occasion. Make the move by buying less fast fashion, the kind you buy now–wear now and throw away as quick. Instead invest in high-quality, classic pieces. For something unique, look to local designers or choose handcrafted bags and jewellery. Always check labels, take care when doing laundry and learn to mend clothing as we go along. Stand for ethical fashion and steer away from fake, copy or "inspired by"; unregulated, counterfeit dresses. Either way, we cannot deny that our addiction to fast fashion - and how we consume and throw clothing away - is having a huge environmental and human impact.

H&M Conscious Exclusive collection is available for hire here. View all H&M collections here