I know we’re living in a new sustainable era, but nevertheless I didn’t see this coming. H&M has decided to trial a new initiative, in an effort to reverse some of the damaging environmental effects of “fast fashion”.
After drawing criticism for its contribution to waste and pollution, the retail giant is now testing a clothes rental option.
The project permits a few select shoppers to rent clothes and return them within a defined time frame. That doesn’t mean you can borrow as many items as you want – H&M is capping the service at 50 garments a month, after which time you can return the clothes or pay to keep them for good. This is my dream come true, because I have a mass of stuff that I’ve worn once only.
At the moment, the deal is only available at the Swedish retailer’s flagship store in Stockholm, where shoppers can spend a total of 350 kronor (£29.36) a week. The decision comes after Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie tried the idea, tapping into a market that was worth $1billion in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
Free People and Banana Republic also have a similar service called Style Passport. If successful after three months, H&M may roll out the offer to its other branches around the world. Soon you might be able to borrow clothes when you need them, guilt free about the environmental damage caused by fast fashion.
H&M’s service follows a United Nations report, which revealed that the fashion industry is the second greatest polluter of local freshwater in the world, and is also responsible for 10% of the global carbon footprint. The new green rental choice probably won’t be open to any old shopper or tourist visiting the store – those hoping to take advantage will need be a member of the brand’s loyalty programme.