How H&M Created A Sell-Out Activewear Collection From Recycled Materials

Springing forward has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to the latest H&M X P.E Nation collection. For the uninitiated, P.E Nation is the activewear brand that works for both running on the treadmill and running weekend errands. And if the new collab is anything like past designer launches from the fast fashion giant, it’s likely to sell out fast.

P.E Nation co-founders Claire Tregoning and Pip Edwards created 30 pieces for the latest offering, including leggings, bike shorts, athletic socks, and more. From a design perspective, they wanted to stay true to their brand ethos while experimenting with hues that are fresh and seasonally appropriate; think vibrant shades of mint green, neon pink, and bright orange interspersed with neutrals like black, grey and sand.

“With H&M, we wanted to create an OG P.E feel with a fresh new color palette,” Edwards explains. “We went for the classic athleisure pieces, but threw in some fashion tees, skirts, and accessories.”

With activewear becoming such a booming segment within the apparel market, how does P.E Nation plan on standing out from the crowd? It all comes down to nailing that perfect mix of fashion and function.

“There is a strong distinctive personality and vibe to the brand,” Edwards shares. “We understand firsthand the need for activewear in all aspects of day-to-day life. So naturally, our collections always showcase strong design, innovative materials, and real creativity. We are all about blurring the lines between fitness and fashion to take you from studio to street seamlessly.”

Sustainability was another key component. The collection is made from materials including organic cotton and recycled polyester. The design duo emphasized the importance of working with a retailer that’s currently expanding its efforts in the eco-conscious space. For example, H&M is using artificial intelligence to make their supply chain more market-tailored. It’s an initiative that can help limit excess stock that ends up sitting on shelves.

“They’re really looking to take the concept of circularity to another level,” Tregoning adds. “We need a long-term approach to deal with complex sustainability issues, and this collection ensures we’re on that trajectory with a leader in the arena.”

Maria Ostblom, head of womenswear design at H&M, says that the entire industry is undergoing “a learning process” when it comes to sustainability, and the issue cannot be solved by one brand or company alone.

“Sustainability is of everybody’s concern today, including us,” Ostblom says. “How can we create fashion that does not impact the environment in a harmful way? We aim to be climate positive by 2040 at the latest.”

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