H&M clothingIt’s recycling! I recycled David Byrne’s jacket and Shakespeare’s pants.Is disposable-clothes giant H&M still trying to save face from the time it got caught with its pants down, shredded, and thrown in a dumpster in Herald Square? The clothing company, long a purveyor of one-season clothing for teenyboppers and underpaid professionals, is making a move toward the eco-friendly with a new line of organic clothes.

The “Conscious Collection,” which is available starting April 14, skirts the difficult issue of eco-friendly dyeing by embracing white:

The collection […] is made from environmentally-adapted and greener materials such as organic cotton, Tencel® and recycled polyester. H&M’s designers have been inspired by different shades of white, one of the most important colours this Spring. A minimalist, tailored look is combined with romantic lace, Broderie Anglaise, frills and draping.

This follows a slightly less dye-dodging sustainable collection last year.

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Is this real progress, or a sop to people who criticize H&M — and the entire fashion industry — for building in planned obsolescence in the form of “last season’s clothes”? Certainly, pushes for organic clothes could have a real effect in the long run. Cotton is disproportionately eco-hostile, accounting for 16 percent of insecticide use worldwide. But a greener option is buying clothes that aren’t going to be outdated or disintegrated in a year — something that says “Look out! I know what I’m wearing for the rest of my life.”

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