Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is testing out a clothing rental service as the fashion industry faces mounting criticism for waste and pollution, reported Bloomberg.
The Swedish retailer is following competitors Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters, which both launched similar services earlier this year to tap into a market that reached $1 billion in 2018. Websites such as Vinted and Hurr Collective are expanding in Europe, offering consumers a way to sell or rent used clothes.
H&M’s rental model is limited to a collection of 50 garments offered to members of the company’s loyalty programme and the retailer will assess the trial in three months before expanding any further. The shop, which is testing new concepts, will also feature clothing repair services, a coffee shop and a beauty bar.
Daniel Claesson, H&M’s Head of Business Development, said, “We have a huge belief in rental, but we still want to test and learn quite a lot and do tweaks and changes.”
According to the United Nations, the clothing industry has come under increasing scrutiny as it is responsible for as much as 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more energy than aviation and shipping combined.
Chief Executive Officer Karl-Johan Persson has acknowledged the need to reduce H&M’s environmental impact while voicing concerns over the social consequences of consumer shaming.