Expected to launch this coming March, H&M's new eco-friendly line, The Garden Collection, offers a wide assortment of feminine and stylish pieces, all priced under $60. Using only organic or recycled materials, some of the materials used in this collection include organic cottons, organic linens, recycled polyester, polyester made from PET-bottles or textile waste, and Tencel. And as the name suggests, the collection is inspired by chlorophyll-green gardens; summer dresses in romantic floral prints, blouses with colorful garden prints, and skirts with bright ethnic floral patterns.
However, with such a low price point, we can't help but question if the production is any different from their other lines. Where is all of this being made and by whom? And as the collection is filled with brightly colored patterns and prints, the dye process is also questionable. Although the concept of using organic and recycled materials is great, we hope that this line will expand beyond fabric choices on what it truly means to be an eco-friendly line.
It's just a bit difficult to not be so critical considering that the look book for the Garden Collection was released immediately after New York Times highlighted a pile of unsold clothes trashed outside H&M's 34th Street location in New York City's Herald Square.
Nevertheless, the Garden Collection is still a positive step heading toward the right direction. We give H&M a plus for their efforts to use more eco-friendly materials. And as a global chain retailer, we are excited to see more conscientious fabric choices in the mass market and hope that this will encourage both consumers and other retailers to think more about fashion sustainability.