H&M’s Ann-Sofie Johansson on Fast Fashion Slowing Down

anne-sophie johansson
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H&M head of design Ann-Sofie Johansson

Whether it’s H&M, Zara, or Forever 21, there’s no denying the astonishing ascent of so-called “fast fashion” in the last several years. Need an on-trend look right this second—without breaking the bank?—H&M may be your go-to, and even if you never wear it again, your credit card is hardly taking the hit.

But with rising textile costs and an ever-increasing awareness of sustainable fashion, disposable clothes are losing popularity. NBC’s Thread blog talked to H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, about the decline in fast fashion and why the mega-brand is dipping its toes into eco-friendly waters.

“I think fashion is happening a little bit slower now,” she told Thread. “There is more fashion going around at the same time … I think there are several trends living side by side, which is different than the way it used to be when there was one thing, which was the thing.”

Johansson advocates recycling your wardrobe (what goes around comes around, after all—hello, wide-leg jeans!) and bringing pieces back into the rotation.

“I think you should save your things, of course,” she said. “Save them and then take them out again and reinvent them. We want to teach our customers how to restyle their clothes and how to use them in a sustainable way. I think in a way my mother knew that, we don’t know that anymore, how to take care of our garments.”

As far as the eco-friendly fashion movement? “I don’t think of it as a trend,” she said. “I think it is something that we have to do. I think in a way it starts with yourself as a person and how you act in your daily life. If you turn off your computer when you leave home, if you recycle, it’s things like that.

“We have started [to move towards being eco-minded at H&M]. It’s not just about the collections, it’s about the whole company.”

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And find out more about H&M’s eco-friendly Conscious Collection, as seen on Natalie Portman.