H&M goes green and gets wired



Through all of the rain, sleet and snow this winter season, one popular retailer plans to make shopping easier and spring a little greener.

If I only gave you 10 seconds to tell me your favorite store, would you be able to? Or better yet, if I asked you what their website domain is, would you know it? Chances are you would.

Shopping online has become so easy and convenient, it’s almost become second nature. Sure, trying on clothes in different stores and walking through the mall with your friends on a Saturday afternoon is fun, but saving the gas, time spent finding a parking space and sales tax is more my style. Something about the idea of shopping from the comfort of my couch in sweatpants and fuzzy socks is amazing.

Unfortunately, every retailer has not jumped on the online shopping bandwagon.

After realizing that there is not one single H&M store in the entire state of Kentucky, I decided to take it upon myself to simply shop from their website. However, I was sadly mistaken. I found it surprising that H&M doesn’t provide the ability to buy their merchandise online. How dare they?

Luckily, I wasn’t the only consumer interested in the fuzzy socks and online shopping equation.

Last month, H&M announced its e-commerce launch in the U.S. I warn you, however, to refrain from complete excitement; we still have to wait until the end of 2011 before we start adding items to our shopping carts.

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson explained in an article on stylelist.com why the online shopping experience will be available in other countries before the U.S.

“We are expanding our online and catalogue sales,” Persson said in a statement tied to the company’s annual earnings report. “At the start of 2011, we are launching the new H&M Shop Online in the markets where we offer online and catalogue sales already. Around year-end we plan to start online sales in USA, the world’s largest online market.”

But creating an online presence isn’t the only thing H&M has up its sleeve this year. Following last year’s “2010 Garden Collection,” is the retailer’s latest eco-friendly line of merchandise, the “H&M Conscious Collection.” The new collection will feature men’s, women’s and children’s clothing made from “greener materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester.”

According to the H&M website, the new eco-friendly line is about more than organic cotton:

“It’s not just about organic cotton any more,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of design. “The possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco smarter materials are huge now. By designing recurring Conscious Collections we have the opportunity to show in a variety of ways what’s possible using more sustainable fabrics.”

The Conscious Collection is fresh and simplistic to say the least, with the color of inspiration being different shades of white; nothing more.

“Shades of white are the season’s biggest fashion trend, and it feels right for this collection,” Johanasson said. “White creates a romantic feeling with lace and Broderie Anglaise, but is also the basic colour in a sporty, relaxed style and in a preppy tailored look for men.”

Various shades of white blazers, skirts, pants and T-shirts are just a few of the items featuring in the Conscious Collection hitting stores on April 14. Prices range from $14.95 for a top to $59.95 for a maxi dress.

H&M has set out for big things this year – sustainable style and online shopping.