Eastman Naia™ Renew cellulosic fibers helps it pursue aggressive sustainability goals.

The challenge

Fashion retailer H&M wants environmentally friendly shopping choices to be easy for consumers. Its goal is to make all its products from recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. It’s part of the company’s vision to help transform the fashion industry, which currently contributes 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions while accounting for just 2% of its gross domestic product.

While a reduced carbon footprint is vitally important to H&M, the company insists on upholding its other values. Its clothing needs to not only be good for the planet but also stylish, comfortable to wear, and accessible.

The Eastman solution

H&M’s vision of a transformed fashion industry is shared by Eastman. The two companies already had an existing relationship, and when the global specialty materials company developed its Naia™ Renew portfolio, it was a perfect fit for H&M.

Sourced from 60% wood pulp and 40% hard-to-recycle waste materials,* Naia™ Renew cellulosic fiber is traceable with certified biodegradability that captures the value of hard-to-recycle materials such as carpet fibers and plastic packaging that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It can be produced at scale to deliver sustainability without compromise.

Comfortable, fashionable, and soft, Naia™ Renew is available as both a filament yarn and a staple fiber. H&M found it was exactly what it was looking for in its new line of clothing.

The result

H&M successfully launched its Conscious Exclusive collection with Naia™ Renew in autumn/winter 2020. Sold worldwide, the line of womenswear targets environmentally conscious shoppers who still want to be stylish. It offers floral-patterned shirts, bolero tops, silk-blend tailored trousers, and more.

HM black blazer made of Naia Renew cellulosic fibers.
HM yellow floral top made of Naia Renew cellulosic fibers.
 HM black trousers made of Naia Renew cellulosic fibers.
HM black bolero top made of Naia Renew cellulosic fibers.

“We really wanted to be trailblazers––pushing the limits of creativity and sustainable fashion––by focusing on waste,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M. “As a result, the pieces in this collection are crafted from truly amazing materials produced from waste. Working with this kind of transformation and being able to speak to our customers through beauty, we hope that waste can be part of the future of sustainable fashion.”

This was only the beginning. H&M took another important step toward meeting the company’s aggressive sustainability goals in spring 2021 with its Science Story collection using Naia™ Renew. The collection challenges the status quo by championing cutting-edge textiles and the promise of a sustainable future.

One of its highlights is the Naia™ Renew jacket. Single-breasted in woven fabric made from silk and Naia™ Renew cellulosic yarn, it features notched lapels, padded shoulders, and decorative buttons. Information on the materials and processes it uses is integrated into the design.

Yellow HM jacket Naia Renew cellulosic fibers.

Both the Conscious Exclusive and Science Story collections are examples of how far and how fast a brand can become more sustainable.

“Together, Naia™ and H&M are conserving resources, fostering innovation, and working toward making sustainable fashion accessible for all,” said Ruth Farrell, Eastman’s global marketing director of textiles. “By collaborating with companies that are committed to sustainability, we can transform our industry and help build a truly circular fashion economy.”

*Naia™ Renew recycled content is achieved by allocation of recycled waste material through mass balance accounting.

All images owned by H&M