The business model will grant members of its loyalty program access to 50 garments that they may rent for a given period of time, for approximately $37 USD a week in Stockholm, Sweden. After a trial of three months, H&M entity Hennes & Mauritz AB will assess the test period and decide whether to expand the program’s offerings and reach or not. The decision to test a clothing rental service is the brand’s attempt at addressing concerns of the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, particularly the greenhouse gases expelled by clothing factories.
Daniel Claesson, H&M’s head of business development, stated “we have a huge belief in rental, but we still want to test and learn quite a lot and do tweaks and changes.”
While renting clothing has proven successful for competitors Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters in 2018, the model is not without skepticism. Credit Suisse analyst Simon Irwin remarked with doubt: “I’d be surprised if you can really make it work as a business model,” claimed Irwin. “I can’t see that the kind of labour cost involved in a rental model at those price points really makes sense.”
The concept shop — which is a refurbished store located at Sergels Torg in Stockholm, Sweden — to first implement the service will also feature its clothing repair services and a coffee bar.
Earlier in September, H&M also announced it would stop sourcing leather from Brazil to address the Amazon rainforest wildfires.