The summer festival season is one of the most exciting times of the year, and now it’s one of the most giving, too! On 20th May 2010, H&M launches its third Fashion Against AIDS campaign, which includes the first festival collection, with 25% of the sales donated to youth HIV/AIDS awareness projects. Sold through the Divided youth departments, the collection for both guys and girls will encompass the whole festival experience, from clothes and accessories through to tents and sleeping bags, all the while raising funds to promote the message of safe sex.
“For me, festivals are unique and inspirational places as they join both music and fashion. To see your favourite bands, to see creative people gathered, all from different nations and with different looks really inspires me. It is very important to make people aware of the problem with AIDS and HIV and we want to contribute in the fight against the disease by donating some of the sales from this collection,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s head of design.
The festival look is a global trend that’s all about freedom of expression and shared experiences. Festivals are an escape from the real world, where fashion can really come to the fore. For girls this summer there’s a mix of rock with bohemia and glamour with added ethnic touches. Denim hotpants or patterned leggings are matched with embellished tunic tops, while maxi-dresses are toughened up when worn with leather jackets. Gladiator shoes, chunky bracelets, wide belts and beaded necklaces complete the look, while tribal print headphones give an extra twist.
For guys, it’s all about looking like you’re in the band, with slim blazers and jackets, faded and patched denim jeans and cropped shorts, embellished waistcoats, paisley vests and the essential rocker’s hat are all part of the picture. There are also tents, sleeping bags, as well as fold-up chairs for friends who join the camp.
The festival collection marks the third year that H&M has supported the fight against AIDS, so far raised over 30 million SEK. The money has been divided between Designers Against AIDS (DAA), a body which promotes awareness of HIV/AIDS among the young, investigating new methods of peer group education and campaigning; YouthAids, focusing on its projects in Haiti and Russia to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in chronically affected areas; the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. As well as raising funds for the fight against HIV and AIDS, H&M hopes to raise awareness about safe sex among the young by donating to such an important cause.
“Fashion Against AIDS with H&M is a great way to reach millions of young people. With the donation money from the past two years, we’re opening our new International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center (IHAEC) in Antwerp in June 2010, where we’ll teach young people from all over the world how they can start safe sex campaigns using elements from fashion and pop culture. Fashion Against AIDS has opened many doors for DAA and we’re very grateful for this. It’s so important to keep informing young people worldwide about the importance of safe sex,” says Ninette Murk, founder of Designers Against AIDS.