H&M is the latest major fashion retailer to tap into the billion-dollar clothing rental market in a bid to tackle environmental concerns.
The Swedish company is testing out a clothing rental service at its flagship store in Stockholm to members of its loyalty program, according to Business of Fashion. For the equivalent of £28 a week, customers can rent clothes from a collection of 50 pieces.
H&M, currently the world’s second largest fashion retailer, is expected to trial the service for three months before deciding whether to expand the service. The flagship store will also be testing a clothing repair service, BOF reports.
Following in the footsteps of competitors, such as Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters, which launched similar services earlier this year, H&M’s move comes amid increasing scrutiny of the fashion industry’s negative environmental impact.
A United Nations report found the fashion industry is responsible for as much as 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more energy than international flights and shipping combined.
Fast fashion, in particular, faces criticism for its role in producing excess water and pollution, as well as poor working conditions.
“We have a huge belief in rental, but we still want to test and learn quite a lot and do tweak changes,” H&M Head of Business Development Daniel Claesson said.
While the rental service is limited to the flagship store, for now, it could soon see the company going green in the future. H&M intends for its greenhouse gas emissions to be negative, meaning it would offset more than it produces, by 2040.
From Harper’s Bazaar UK