On March 18, fashion retailer H&M will launch its new Science Story collection in the United States and Canada. The new line will feature Desserto, a vegan cactus leather made by Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, and EVO by Fulgar, a bio-based yarn derived from renewable castor oil. Pieces in the collection will be both modern and experimental and include white wide-leg jeans with a removable double waistband, a cropped collared shirt with an oversized breast pocket, and a cuffed tracksuit. The collection will also include accessories such as a chunky necklace made of interconnecting orange swirls and embellished with rhinestones, block-heeled acid yellow strappy sandals, and double-framed blue sunglasses. 

The Science Story line is part of the retailer’s Innovation Stories collections that focus on exploring sustainable materials, technologies, and production processes in fashion. “Innovation Stories is a platform that pushes our experimentation to the next level,” Ella Soccorsi, concept designer at H&M, said. “The initiative encourages our work with scientists and developers and puts a spotlight on our progressive ideas. Science Story is a homage to the years of research and experiments behind these incredible materials.”

Leather-free fashion at H&M

In recent years, the multinational retailer has explored a number of plant-based alternatives to environmentally damaging animal-derived materials. In 2019, H&M partnered with several textile innovators—including pineapple-based leather brand Piñatex and vegan silk producer Orange Fiber—to develop the new collection that features jackets with vegan leather accents (with matching skirts and boots), vegan silk corset tops, and an array of other nature-inspired pieces in bold animal prints, coral and aqua hues, and with standout metallic accents. In 2020, the brand unveiled shoes and handbags made with innovative Vegea—a vegan leather made in Italy from waste byproducts of the wine industry. 

“Our new concept continues H&M’s journey towards a sustainable and circular fashion system,” Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M, said. “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.”

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