Behind the right message
Through a series of Instagram videos, H&M has announced its collaboration with Maisie Williams as the brand's Global Sustainability Ambassador for 2021.
In this role, I will be working closely with experts within H&M to drive sustainability initiatives and shape the path towards an accessible and circular fashion future. The long term goal is to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials for textiles across the full H&M Group brands by 2030. It's time to take action and create more viable production circuits in fashion to protect our planet for the next generation" says Williams.

Throughout the year, the brand will be launching several sustainability-themed initiatives where Maisie and her twin avatar, painstakingly created by 3D animators at Goodbye Kansas Studio, will appear to educate about circularity, inspire action and drive change.
H&M Looop Island
Photography by H&M
H&M Looop Island
Among the projects is the newly launched Nintendo's game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From 13th April players can explore H&M Looop Island with its eco-friendly machines, learn about recycling, check out H&M sustainability showroom, Maisie's room and the virtual Looop machine where they can recycle gaming outfits they no longer want, into new ones garments.
Recycling machine, recycling clothing, recycling clothes
Photography by H&M
The idea comes from the Looop machine installed at H&M in Stockholm in October 2020. Looop is the world's first in-store recycling system turning old garments into new ones. In just eight steps (cleaning, shredding, filtering, carding, drawing, spinning, twisting, knitting), Looop shreds your old garment and knits a new one from the old fibres with no additional water nor dye. The only thing added is some sustainably sourced material to strengthen the yarn since mechanical shredding shortens the fibres of the original garment.

Whilst H&M goal to be using all recycled or sustainable sourced materials by 2030 is promising and the message Williams wishes to get across is surely one to follow, both the brand and the actress have been heavily criticised of greenwashing.
Sadly, it is old news that, despite H&M regularly claiming to reach its year-to-year sustainability goals, equally regularly the brand is accused of covering up about providing fair living wages to its workers. The latest reports from workers about worker rights violations during the pandemic, highlights H&M as one of the brands which failed to pay and to provide legally owned benefits to its factory workers, whom are women in low-income countries, making their living situation from precarious to worse.

Understandably, those supporting sustainability within the fashion industry, have negatively responded to H&M campaign, considering it yet another deceiving act of greenwashing and to the famous actress, who has surely cut a more than fair economic deal to join forces with the brand.
article by Alice Guarnaschelli
main photograph by H&M