To test out renting attire as eco-conscious shoppers rein in their purchases, H&M said its COS brand has collaborated with the Chinese subscription rental platform YCloset to trial clothing rentals. The world’s second-largest fashion group follows in the footsteps of other fashion industry players like Bloomingdale’s and Banana Republic of Gap Inc. that are lending their attire for a monthly rate, Reuters reported.
H&M has rolled out many independent brands like Arket and COS in recent years. Its core budget H&M chain, however, still reportedly accounts for the large share of revenues. The company noted in a statement that the three-month trial would let it look into the business model, customer demand, potential to scale and sustainability.
COS Managing Director Marie Honda said in a statement, according to the report, “It is important for us to try new approaches — testing and collaborating to achieve the best outcome for our customer and community — as well as the future of our business.” The company also said per the outlet that subscription rental “has been on our radar for some time and we feel this is a very relevant model for us to explore.”
In a separate development, news surfaced in October that H&M Group had taken a majority stake in Sellpy — a move that follows the fashion retailer’s efforts to become fully circular and support its global expansion. The group began investing in the re-commerce business in 2015 and has invested approximately US$5.07m (SEK50m) via its CO:LAB investment arm.
Sellpy CEO Michael Annör said, according to a report, “We are excited to continue to work even closer with H&M Group to empower everyone to live circular, regardless if they live in Sweden or elsewhere. With the support of H&M Group we can continue to innovate and drive awareness and adoption of re-commerce.”
Founded in 2014, Sellpy could grow its current offering “into a complete platform for second-hand fashion” per the report. It is now gearing up for global growth starting with Germany.