Images by H&M;, Photographer: Daniel Jackson
H&M;, the Swedish high street store, has yet again made it into the TreeHugger news, just on time to spread some love for Valentine's day (check out Green Valentine for other great gifts). After applying the EU eco-label and the launch of their organic cotton collection last spring, H&M; has launched Fashion Against Aids to spread awareness about HIV this month. Well-known artists such as Rihanna, Chicks on Speed, Good Charlotte, Henrik Vibskov, Jade Jagger, Justice, Katharine Hamnett, My Chemical Romance, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, The Cardigans, Tiga, Timbaland and Ziggy Marley have each designed a 100% organic cotton T-shirts, tank tops or hooded sweater. Judging by the sold out racks of clothing the first days of the launch (at least here in Barcelona), the campaign is a great success.The aim of the Fashion Against Aids project, for which H&M; collaborated with Designers Against AIDS (DAA), is to draw awareness to the twelve million young people in the 15-24 age group that are now infected with the virus. The artists participate free of charge and 25% of the selling price of the collection will go to HIV/AIDS-prevention projects around the world, reaching more than 600 million young people in 60 countries. Ninette Murk, the founder of DAA, says:
Fifty per cent of the people newly infected with HIV are aged between 15 and 24. There's an urgent need to do something in this target group. By combining fashion with music in this way we hope to get these young people to 'stop and think', as Katharine Hamnett puts it on one of the garments in the collection.
All garments feature the Fashion Against Aids label and the name of the artist who designed it is printed on the neck line. Katharine Hamnett's print shouts 'USE A CONDOM!' in bold letters, while Cardigans did a pretty drawing saying 'Do Love' but 'in a safe way' as she ads in the interview, and, Chicks on Speed look deep behind the mask and say 'Face It'. Last but not least, Tiga's hoodies' are printed with a check pattern, each square representing a person; those in a different colour are the people who carry the virus. See what the artists have to say and upload your own video Against Aids here. For the music fans amongst you, check out Tiga's podcast (no.5) 'Fashion Against Aids', featuring a quite amusing interview with Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters, who also participated in the project.
We are happy to announce that the prices haven't gone up despite the use of organic cotton. All prices vary from 9,90â‚¬ to 24,90â‚¬. So H&M; might be right in labelling the collection: "This might be the most important piece of clothing you've ever had your hands on."
And not only are H&M; using organic cotton for the Fashion Against Aids collection, but they increased their usage on the entire 2008 spring collection. For the spring line, 1,500 tonnes of organic cotton will be used, which is more than the total amount utilized last year. "Our organic cotton collection is also high fashion, as customers are becoming increasingly aware of both fashion and the environment. We are proud to offer clothes made from organic cotton in nearly every H&M; department," says H&M;'s Head of Design, Margareta van den Bosch.
Thanks Sergio C. for the tip! ::H&M;