Only M.I.A. Could Turn A Corporate Collaboration Into A Cause

In honor of World Recycle Week (April is no longer just about Earth Day anymore when it comes to “green” endeavors), M.I.A.’s surprising collaboration with H&M has put a spotlight on the video for her latest song, “Rewear It.”

Opening amid a mountainous landscape, sound bites like “The environmental problem is real” and “We can’t wait for someone else to take initiative” establish a series of shots set around the world of people with all different style sensibilities and backgrounds, presumably wearing recycled clothes one hopes are from H&M.

Meanwhile, M.I.A. chants “rewear it” on top of a pile clothes designed to look like a building among others. Following M.I.A.’s introduction, the camera cuts to the wearers of repurposed textiles dancing joyously, as though to say, “I’m even more stylish than those with outfits made from fresh fabrics.”

M.I.A. infuses the track with her standard roguishness, created to spur on H&M’s initiative to collect 1,000 tons of used clothing from their customers with the incentive of giving each person store credit in return (though probably not enough to buy outside of the Divided line).

Soon, others are joining her on clothing mountaintop buildings to indicate a revolution has started. The dancing continues with men in high heels, women on horses and M.I.A. shimmying in front of some clothing tents. The message of unity in fashion through making recycling “chic” could not have been given to a better person than M.I.A.–regardless of her notorious stance on corporations in general.

The video concludes with urgings such as “Join in a global fashion movement for the planet” so as to truly drive home the point that stylishness comes from within, not based on whether something is new or expensive. Just look at Madonna’s personal style in the 80s for confirmation.