The future is now. Iconic Australian activewear brand P.E. Nation has joined forces with global retailer H&M for the ultimate design collaboration. With a mission to create a more sustainable athleisure collection, the capsule will showcase ready-to-wear, swimwear, underwear and accessories, and will be available to purchase at H&M worldwide from March 5.
To celebrate the launch we caught up with P.E. Nation co-founders Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning to talk all things activewear, creative collaborations and why sustainability should go beyond the seasons.
How did the collaboration between P.E.Nation and H&M come about?
H&M contacted us directly through an email to our customer service team with an offer to collaborate - we thought it was a joke when we first glanced over the email. We then jumped on the phone to H&M and they had 12 people on loudspeaker with us. Before we knew it, the deal was done.
How important is sustainability when conceiving a collection?
Sustainability isn’t thought of season by season. It is constantly finding how our business can be more and more sustainable day-by-day, from our suppliers to our fabrications to our office, our employees. The three P’s of sustainability: planet, people and profit, the new bottom line.
Can you tell us about the sustainability focus within the collaborative collection with H&M?
One of the main reasons we partnered with H&M is because of their sustainable timeline projection. They’re doing amazing things for the environment and for fashion. For example, they’re using artificial intelligence to make their supply chain more sustainable, to trace the source of their materials and to understand their environmental nuances throughout each step, and they’re really looking to take the concept of circularity to another level. We need a long-term approach to deal with complex sustainability issues, and this sustainably conscious collection ensures we’re on that trajectory with a leader in the arena.
What are you favourite pieces within the collection?
Loving the pleat skirt, and the spray jacket as a look. The pink active set is super fun. I also love the swim, and the slides of course! All the pieces work so well together, it’s very easy to mix-and-match the whole collection. The most exciting thing about this collaboration for us is that it is a sustainable, conscious collection.
What were you trying to achieve through this collaboration?
Our ultimate goal is for our brand to be able reach every woman of the world, and with H&M’s huge global footprint, having major retail presence in every country, it was the ultimate opportunity for us to actually reach a new global platform and take it beyond Australian shores to women wanting to live a more confident, vibrant, fashionable life.
How do the pieces in this capsule differ from P.E. Nation’s mainline collections?
The collection was designed from best-selling P.E. styles, mixed with some best-selling H&M blocks. The fabrications are different and the capsule has its own original graphics. We wanted to create an OG P.E. feel with a fresh new colour palette that uses sustainable fabrications,- we went for the classic athleisure pieces but threw in some fashion tees and skirts and accessories.
How does the design process differ when working with an international fashion house?
The process is similar, but at lightning speed. Meeting the Swedish team in Shanghai, we could turn samples around in a day or two; the trims and fabrication libraries are endless. The team is much bigger and the process of signing off designs took a little longer, but all in all very similar styles of working.
What else are you looking forward to in the next year?
Looking forward to launching our first ever stand-alone P.E Nation snow collection in June - watch this space.