Mindfulness in fashion: How pineapple leaf fibre, orange peels, algae biomass, pet bottles are contributing to sustainable fashion choices
What do you understand when you read or hear the term “mindfulness”? What if I told you that mindfulness is not just about you and how aware you are about your thoughts, your actions and words, but it’s also a way of living - we just haven’t quite put a name to the concept yet. Keeping that in mind, mindfulness is not just being aware of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and the surrounding environment, but just being and understanding that every action may have an equal and opposite reaction, like the karmic cycle and being aware of all the deposits you make into the karma bank.
In a rapidly changing world, where efforts towards the environment are the need of the hour, the corporate world is becoming increasingly conscious about what they’re producing, selling and how it’s affecting the nature and its various constituents. The fashion industry too has begun taking serious efforts towards adopting slow fashion, eco fashion and sustainable fashion. The three terms might seem like they are synonyms of one another and hence, can be used interchangeably. However, they are different from one another, while pointing in the same direction.
H&M has introduced an all-new collection comprising sustainable materials called the Conscious Exclusive collection, which debuts today April 11 in stores across India. What’s new for this season are Piñatex®, a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves, BLOOM™Foam, a plant-based flexible foam using algae biomass, and Orange Fiber®, sustainable silk-like fabrics made from citrus juice by-products. In the recent past, we also saw the Divided collection - H&M’s first conscious collection - made from recycled polyester, organic cotton, recycled cotton and TENCEL®, all sourced sustainably.
The H&M Conscious Exclusive collection embodies a balance between glamour and comfortable fashion and can be worn as work wear, party wear and even at relaxed outings in summer. With colours like aqua blue, coral pink, lavender, sand and more, the tones are earthy and natural. The collection comprises flowing printed fabrics, a shimmer blouse made of orange peels, boots with pineapple leaf fibre to give the metallic sheen and slippers with soles made of algae biomass.
Interestingly, the collection also boasted of a full-length sequin dress in beige and gold. The sequins have been made from recycled pet bottles.
This Conscious Collection is a step towards meeting one of H&M’s main goals – to use only 100% recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials by 2030.
Independent designers and small-business owners are also popularising their work via social media where some of them, who either work in tandem with larger fashion houses or sell locally, can also recycle some of your older sarees into suit sets, upholstery, quilts and much more. Before long, trends like these will also find a place commercially. H&M has been running a recycling drive for a while where all your older clothes can be deposited at the stores in exchange for vouchers.
Slow fashion is a natural lifestyle choice and one that must be adopted, slowly but surely.