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H&M Group tests subscription rental service in China

H&M rental service

H&M Group’s innovation department The Laboratory, COS, and the Chinese subscription rental company YCloset have teamed up to test subscription rental in China.

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According to the Thredup report 2019, rental will equate for 2% of the total retail landscape within less than 10 years, and that subscription rental is a growing business model, especially in China.

“Subscription rental has been on our radar for some time and we feel this is a very relevant model for us to explore. With our learn by doing- approach, we will test subscription rental in China and iterate on learnings as we go. This will allow us to explore customer demand, the business model, potential to scale and different sustainability factors,” said Laura Coppen, Circular and Sustainable Business Development, The Laboratory, H&M Group.

YCloset is China’s largest fashion rental platform and with 15 million registered users, this test will enable H&M Group to learn more about its customers and the customer demographics.

“We were inspired by YCloset’s eco cleaning facility and their shared vision of sustainability. Cleaning and logistics are critical factors with the rental business, as this is where the environmental impact is high. YCloset’s water recycling and investments in greenfield technology, are in line with what we expect from a collaborative partner,” said Laura Coppen, Circular and Sustainable Business Development, The Laboratory, H&M Group.

The test, which will run for three months, is part of H&M Group’s way of exploring circular business models to transition towards a circular economy. The rental subscription has an additional sustainable aspect to it, as customers will be able to buy the product for a reduced price when the rental period is over, giving them another chance to enjoy the garments. In this way, it can prevent the garment to be recycled too early, prolonging the lifespan, and thereby saving virgin resources.

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“COS collections are designed and made to last; longevity has been an integral part of the COS design ethos since the brand began twelve years ago. We believe the quality of our collections will lend themselves well to the rental system. More broadly 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,” said Marie Honda, Managing Director, COS

(Source: H&M Group)