H&M is known for on-trend fast fashion, affordable basics and sell-out designer collaborations (Balmain, we’re waiting…), but its latest campaign is giving us serious #goals - and it’s not just because of the clothes.
The Swedish brand has just unveiled Close The Loop, a slick video promoting its mission to get the world recycling to make fashion more sustainable, and we’re impressed. With 69 models of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, H&M might just have created the most diverse fashion campaign ever.
There are blondes, brunettes, and redheads, slim bodies as well as plus-size model and fashion sensation Tess Holliday, young and old, Sikhs (recognise menswear blogger Pardeep Singh Bahra of Singh Street Style?), as well as a transgender model and an amputee. Feeling the underarm fuzz movement right now? There’s a model for you, too. Now that is what we call inclusive.
H&M’s first ever Muslim model, Mariah Idrissi, is making a serious impression with her chic style, and more importantly to some, her headscarf. Speaking to Fusion magazine on why she’s become the poster girl for H&M’s campaign, she said “I honestly have no idea why. It might be because hijab fashion has boomed in the last few years and to finally see a hijabi [a woman who wears a hijab] in mainstream fashion is a big achievement”. And for those wondering if H&M just wanted to drop a token Muslim model in their incredibly diverse campaign, Mariah said H&M were seriously considerate: “H&M asked how much in terms of neck I could show, but to be honest they were very respectful. One of the watches was dangling in the wrong way, and rather than just twisting it on my wrist, the cameraman asked a woman to come over. It just showed that little bit of respect”.
The fashion industry has come under fire lately for favouring a pretty Eurocentric type of model, with darker skins, bigger sizes and differing abilities not really featuring on catwalks, front covers and ad campaigns. But not everybody looks like a Victoria’s Secret model, and with social media on fire over this video, it’s obvious diversity is going down well.
Blogger Muslim Girl commented that by modelling for such a huge high street store in a headscarf, "Maria Hidrissi …awakened the people. She made others look at a Muslim woman without fear but with a healthy curiosity". H&M, you’ve done the UK proud.
If Close The Loop has got you interested in ethical fashion, drop in a bag of old clothes or even curtains (if it’s fabric, it’s allowed) for H&M to recycle, and get a £5 voucher off your next haul, or shop from their Conscious Collection; if you’re picturing hempy fabrics and neutral colours, think again – the range includes patterned culottes, lingerie and a khaki jumpsuit that’s just hit the top of our AW wishlist. Make sure you check out the Close The Loop recycled denim collection, too.
You can read what Tess Holliday had to say about the campaign here.