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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Disruptive Design Drives Sustainable Fashion Forward

The fashion industry shows no sign of slowing down in regards to reducing its environmental impact, with new initiatives and schemes emerging almost daily. Though the concept of fast fashion stands in stark contrast to the notion of conscious consumerism and arguably sustainability itself, innovation and disruptive design play an important role in driving the industry towards a more circular, sustainable model.

First, H&M has upped the ante on its Conscious Exclusive collection, utilizing BIONIC® — a revolutionary sustainable material manufactured from recycled polyester derived from plastic shoreline waste.

For the first time, the collection will include kids’ pieces and Conscious Exclusive fragrance made from organic oils, in addition to its full assortment for women and relaxed formal wear for men. The collection will be available from April 20th in 160 stores worldwide.

While H&M’s Conscious Collection largely consists of everyday basics, Exclusive features elevated pieces such as a plissé pleated gown in powder pink BIONIC® that the brand hopes will showcase the many different ways that sustainable materials can be used to create attractive fashion.

Meanwhile, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has announced that it is deepening its six-year relationship with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London in an effort to deliver new holistic solutions that align fashion more closely with sustainability. The announcement is marked by an investment by LVMH to intensify existing scholarship programs and fund a groundbreaking sustainability and innovation program.

The global strategic agreement between the two institutions stems from past major initiatives, taking them to a whole new level and building on shared ambitions to enable the best talents to grow and drive innovation. The sustainability and innovation program shares this ideal. It combines disruptive thinking and sustainable practice to question the future of creativity and the challenges that our sectors face. The program will enable knowledge exchange between LVMH teams, CSM students and representatives, and will deepen the relationship between the group and the college.

A new CSM LVMH Director of Sustainability and Innovation will be appointed to steer the relationship and enhance on-going curriculum development to embed sustainable innovation across disciplines at Central Saint Martins. Ambitious projects will be created in collaboration with LVMH Maisons, echoing the long-term commitment of the group to find better solutions to the many challenges the luxury industry faces.

“The LVMH group is very excited to launch this unique sustainability and innovation program with Central Saint Martins: a step further in our support of tomorrow’s talents, reinforcing this historical partnership and the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarships.” said Chantal Gaemperle, Group Executive Vice President Human Resources and Synergies.

LVMH and Central Saint Martins have enjoyed a close relationship over many years, strengthened in 2011 with the creation of the three original Grand Prix LVMH Scholarships, and sponsorship of the LVMH Lecture Theatre, a versatile space hosting a wide range of thought-provoking events and lectures. Over the years CSM LVMH collaborative projects have resulted in design proposals for a number of Maisons, including sustainability and innovation projects across all CSM disciplines.

Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London, added: “This exceptional commitment by LVMH to Central Saint Martins will enable the two partners to co-design a world leading program, so allowing the talents of tomorrow to be immersed in issues of sustainability and innovation.”

The luxury conglomerate isn’t the only one revving up its sustainability portfolio. Last month, competitor Kering released the next phase of its SDG-aligned sustainability strategy, which the company says will support the drive towards a low-carbon economy and help shape the future of luxury as sustainable.