The collaboration with lemlem will launch on April 22 (Picture: H&M)
H&M’s designer collaborations have seen moments of controversy, but that doesn’t stop shoppers from coming back (and selling pieces out) time and time again.
For its latest collaboration, it worked with lemlem, a brand founded by Ethiopian supermodel, mental health advocate and philanthropist Liya Kebede.
It’s perfect for summer, as the collection will be made up of floaty cover-ups, colour-blocked sundresses, matching tops and shorts, bright swimwear, and even statement jewellery.
Lemlem, which means ‘bloom and flourish’ in the Ethiopian language of Amharic, is known for its focus on sustainability and ethical approach to fashion.
As these are key pillars to Liya, her high stress collaboration is made using organic linen, recycled polyester and Tencel Lyocell.
Colour blocking will feature heavily in the collection (Picture: H&M)
Calling the collection ‘sunny, light and breezy’, H&M says you can expect soft textures and bright colours that look and feel joyful.
Liya launched lemlem back in 2007 with the aim of producing artisan clothing for all genders and ages, made entirely in Africa to create work opportunities.
As a result, the brand’s clothes are made by local craftswomen in Kenya, Rwanda and Madagascar.
lemlem supports local women pave a way out of poverty (Picture: H&M)
Speaking on her brand, she said: ‘lemlem is a label of love. Our idea is to do something beautiful that gives back to the communities we engage with.
‘It’s about creativity and inclusiveness – taking the richness of an art-form and creating something new.
‘We’re focused on sustainability and the giving-back aspect even more than the business itself.’
As for why she’s collaborating with the giant high street retailer, Liya said in a statement: ‘It’s important to give a new perspective to the world and tell people a story they haven’t heard before.
Liya Kebede says the collaboration will bring more awareness to her brand, allowing more opportunities for artisans (Picture: H&M)
‘Through H&M, our hope is to have more people aware of our brand and be part of our community, so that we can create more opportunities for artisans to become independent and break out of a circle of poverty.
‘In my definition of sustainability, this plays a huge part.’
In the US, where the collection drops a couple of weeks later, WWD reported that H&M will donate $100,000 to the Lemlem Foundation, which is a charitable arm of the brand that supports women artisans in Africa get out of poverty through educational programs.
The collaboration, which aims to bring back some goodness and cheer, is well-timed as there has been mistrust around H&M’s sustainability claims, while lemlem hold its eco-friendly values dear.
Liya said: ‘The lemlem x H&M collab is about freshness and lightness, bringing back the sun.
‘It’s about sisterhood, friendship and family, celebrating commonalities instead of looking at differences. It’s about love, and care – caring for our environment, each other and ourselves.’
Sometimes it’s the small things that matter most – and that’s a feeling she wants the clothing to inspire.
‘It’s about the gentleness and softness of things. The little things that put a smile on your face.’
lemlem x H&M launches in selected stores and online on April 22, with prices ranging from £9.99 to £34.99.
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