• Retail Dive

H&M features cactus leather in latest collection

By Tatiana Walk-Morris Published April 5, 2021

Dive Brief:

  • H&M unveiled the first of several sustainability collections on Thursday as part of the brand's new concept, "Innovation Stories," according to a press release.

  • The debut collection, called "Science Story," features apparel created with natural and recycled materials. Some clothing within H&M's new Science Story collection contains EVO by Fulgar, a yarn derived from castor oil, or Desserto, a leather alternative created using cactus plants, the company said. The collection is available in select stores and at hm.com.

  • The company also released its 2020 Sustainability Performance Report, which noted that it plans to use 30% recycled materials by 2025, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:


For years, H&M has faced criticism for its environmental impact and has worked on operating more sustainably. In 2019, the brand announced plans to halt its conventional cashmere orders as part of its sustainability efforts. Last year, the retailer also implemented AI and piloted Treadler to improve its supply chain.


For H&M, the Innovation Stories initiative aims to highlight years of research and experiments that led to developing these materials, according to the announcement.


"Our new concept continues H&M's journey towards a sustainable and circular fashion system. Innovation Stories allows us to develop and grow, all while creating desirable and long-lasting pieces that we hope our customers will love and be proud of," Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M, said in a statement.


Though the COVID-19 pandemic has largely disrupted consumers' shopping habits, sustainability remains a priority for many, research shows. According to a survey from global management and consulting firm Kearney, almost half of respondents said the coronavirus pandemic has made them more concerned about the environment. Of the 1,000 survey participants, 11% said they altered their spending decisions based on environmental claims, the survey found.

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