Despite being the defendant in a recent consumer lawsuit that claims H&M falsely advertised its sustainability practices, the Swedish clothing seller is now hyping its “better” denim.
On Thursday, the fast-fashion retailer introduced an eight-piece limited-edition men’s denim capsule created from fabrics that use Renewcell’s Circulose viscose and Lenzing Group’s Tencel lyocell with Refibra technology. Circulose fibers are made from 100 percent textile waste while Tencel lyocell is derived from wood pulp. The retailer also says that half of the collection includes mechanically recycled cotton.
Inspired by Japanese denim and classic American workwear, the wide-cut offering includes four variations of loose-fit five-pocket jeans, two oversized button-down shirts, a boxy workwear jacket and a hooded zip jacket. The four different bottoms include a dark blue model with a regular waist, zip fly and large knee patches; a dark plainer-looking wide-leg pant with a zip fly; a pull-on jean in light or dark blue with a concealed drawstring; and another pull-on style in light or dark blue featuring wide legs and a fake fly.
Depending on the style, the fabrics used for the shells of the jeans are either half lyocell/half viscose or 55 percent lyocell, 30 percent cotton and 15 percent viscose. The pants’ linings are composed of either 100 percent recycled cotton or a 65 percent recycled polyester/35 percent recycled cotton blend.
H&M is promoting the new collection, which is available in-store and online in the EMEA region and Asia but not yet in North America, with the tagline “Let’s make better denim” and then asks potential online customers if they are “ready to close” the loop.” Wording inside the garments also explains that the “next generation denim” is “made from more sustainable materials” and adds that the metal trims are non-plated and that the sewing thread is sourced from recycled polyester.
The collection retails for 34.99-59.99 euros, or approximately $35-$60.
The new collection reflects the growing success of Renewcell’s Circulose fibre. H&M became the first retailer to employ it when it debuted pieces made with the sustainable input in March 2020. Four months later Levi’s introduced a jean made with the material as part of its Wellthread line. And H&M competitor Zara just came aboard and launched a Circulose capsule two weeks ago.
A search of the H&M website reveals that the company currently offers nearly 100 apparel and home goods products in the US market that are made using lyocell.
“In 2021 we took further steps to improve sustainability in all parts of the business. For example, we continued to increase the share of recycled or otherwise more sustainably produced materials in the collections, with the percentage of recycled materials tripling,” noted H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson in the company’s annual and sustainability report that was published in March 2022.