By  on February 26, 2010

Everything is coming up floral for H&M.

The fast-fashion retailer’s theme of flowers and nature for spring will be delivered to all U.S. stores on March 25 with The Garden Collection, its first fully sustainable line.

The bright designs made from organic cotton and linen, recycled polyester and Tencel feature prints with splashes of deep color, generous embroidery and rosettes and appliqués on shoulders, skirts and necklines.

When H&M began manufacturing apparel made from organic cotton in 2004, it unveiled a goal of increasing its organic cotton use by 50 percent each year through 2013. The retailer last year used 3,000 tons of organic cotton, a spokeswoman said, adding: “We want to invest in a better environment.”

The Garden Collection, she said, is also “a response to demands from our customers.”

“The demand for organic cotton is much higher than the supply, globally,” the spokeswoman said. “All retailers are attempting to add more organic materials to their collections. We are also trying to broaden the range of sustainable materials that we use, including recycled wool and recycled polyester, which is made from recycled PET [polyethylene terephthalate] bottles and textile waste.”

The 80-piece Garden Collection will be merchandised in shop-in-shops with special signage. A new shopping bag with the Garden Collection logo will be introduced for the launch. Ten accessories items include a pair of flats covered with a delicate flower-print fabric for $14.95. Other items in the line include a white embroidered dress, $34.95; a recycled rayon strapless red dress with rosettes covering the entire skirt, $39, and a matching jacket, $59.95; a smock dress with oversize pockets, $17.95; a long, multicolored dress, $59.95, and a Tencel summer trenchcoat, $49.95.

Many of the silhouettes are reminiscent of the Seventies, such as the ruched baby doll-dresses and peasant blouses. Prints range from painterly abstract florals in deep colors to romantic roses and ethnic floral designs.

H&M initially thought the organic or recycled clothes would be more expensive, but that wasn’t the case. The retailer offers a certain amount of organic or recycled items in its normal collection, but doesn’t group them together. Each garment gets a special label and hangtag identifying it as sustainable. The Garden Collection will receive the same labels and hangtags.

The Garden Collection is being promoted on H&M’s Web site and with outdoor advertising.

“We want to reduce our impact on the environment,” the spokeswoman said. “We thought of this as being progressive. Given our theme for spring, it became a natural tie-in and we said, ‘Let’s do it all sustainable.’ We’d love to do something like this is in the future, but haven’t planned [anything] yet.”

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