High street giants H&M have teamed up with, activist, designer and supermodel Liya Kebede’s traditional fashion brand Lemlem for an empowering, ethical, contemporary capsule collection.
Aiming to retain a sense of optimism and enlightenment through colourful tones and uplifting playful colour palettes, the collection is an ode to the brighter Summer months ahead. Championing a relaxed, effortless style and joyous aesthetic through soft muted pastels, uplifting striped prints and vibrant colour blocking, the beachwear collection features a range of kaftans, shirts, slip dresses, patterned swimwear and airy cover-ups. The contemporary, easy to wear designs are both light and fluid making use of soft textures, sustainable recycled materials and traditional fabric techniques.
Enriched with culture, the capsule collection retains a sense of community and an element of traditional heritage whilst perfectly capturing the signature timeless style and modern elegance of the empowering Lemlem brand. Nurturing their authenticity and ethical approach to fashion, the sustainably sourced materials of organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel Lyocell incorporate the Lemlem brand’s traditional handwoven weaving techniques. The collection even extends to a range of sustainable accessories including shopper bags, earrings and stacking trinkets made from recycled zinc and other ethical materials, a first for the womenswear clothing brand.
Founded in 2007, Kebede’s inspirational womenswear resort brand Lemlem, meaning to bloom and flourish in the Ethiopian language of Amharic spotlights and showcases the traditional craftsmanship of native workers whilst returning jobs back to local female artisans, something she aimed to nurture within her collaborative capsule collection with the high street giants. Crafted by local collectives and craftswomen in Kenya, Rwanda and Madagascar, her sustainable pieces radiate natural timeless beauty, whilst celebrating female empowerment and liberation.
Alongside crafting stylish yet sustainable pieces, the Lemlem Foundation acts as the brand’s philanthropic charity arm that aims to relieve local female artisans through connecting them to healthcare, education and employment as well as working towards breaking down the poverty cycle. In support of the brand’s efforts and their inspirational partnership, H&M has pledged to donate $100,000 to the foundation in support of female artisans in Africa to pave their pathway out of poverty.
Not only is the collection a powerful movement for female empowerment and sustainable slow fashion but the collaboration offers the Lemlem brand an opportunity to tell us their beautiful story, encouraging us to treasure the importance of sustainability, community and traditional artisan work. The capsule collection will be available online and in selected stores from the 22nd April. With affordable price points ranging from £7.99 to £34.99, there is certainly something for everyone in this touching collection.