H&M has decided to test out a clothing rental service as the fashion industry faces environmental concerns over its contribution to waste and pollution.
H&M Clothing Rental Service
H&M’s initiative follows those of Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters. In fact, they both launched similar services earlier this year to tap into a market that reached $1 billion in 2018, according to a Business of Fashion report.
H&M’s clothing rental service is currently being tested at its flagship store in Stockholm. The current service offers customers to rent clothes from a collection of 50 pieces for a price of $37. Indeed, H&M wants customers to shop ‘til they drop and then come back a week later.
Fashion and Environment
This decision comes at the right time considering the growing criticism of the fashion industry and its environmental impact. In fact, a United Nations report found that the fashion industry is responsible for up to 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions. Which is more than all international flights and shipping. In other words, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world.
These results are not surprising when you consider the number of people who, for example, buy a festival outfit to wear only once. This growing need to always wear different clothes has a huge role to play in the problem.
Fast fashion is hugely blamed for producing a lot of waste in addition to overloading and underpaying workers in terrible conditions. Brands have also been criticized for mass-producing knockoffs of other creators’ ideas.
“We have a huge belief in rental, but we still want to test and learn quite a lot and do tweaks and changes” – H&M’s head of business development
Clothing Rental Service & More
The rental service is currently only available for members of H&M’s loyalty program, and it hasn’t expanded past the flagship store yet. But, that is the first step for one potential future route in the company’s efforts to go green. H&M plans on getting its greenhouse gas emissions to go negative by 2040.