H&M has joined the rental culture with the launch of a service that allows users to have a men’s suit for free for 24 hours. The situation has not been easy for anyone; however, as with any juncture, there are always some players who suffer more than others. The latter category includes fast fashion, where brands such as H&M have understood that market conditions demand a major change in the way business is generated in this sector.
The pandemic only accelerated this process, which had already been visible since the so-called post-coronavirus era. At the beginning of July last year, Pascal Brun, H&M’s global head of sustainability, stressed on the second day of the Fashion Ideas Forum that fast fashion is not sustainable.
H&M representatives pointed out that the only way fast fashion can be sustainable is by being circular. These statements came at a historic moment for the fashion company, which at the time reported significant and historic losses.
H&M to launch a new clothing rental service
H&M is considered the second-largest fashion group in the world, only behind Inditex, posted losses (before taxes) of 695 million dollars between March and May 2020, compared to a profit of 5.9 billion dollars a year earlier.
This downward trend worsened in the midst of the pandemic, with new losses recorded during the last few months.
Specifically, H&M figures indicate that during the fiscal year 2020, as of November last year, the brand’s sales in Colombia grew by 8 percent in local currency.
On the other side of the coin, the fast-fashion giant revealed that in Mexico (its main market in terms of the number of stores in the region) it suffered a 22 percent drop in sales, while in Chile and Peru it registered contractions of 37 percent each in local currency.
Things do not seem to be getting better, and they also seem to be a constant in the rest of the world. The company’s financial report for the first quarter indicates that the textile chain lost 1.07 billion Swedish kronor (122 million dollars) between December 2020 and February 2021, a period that corresponds to the multinational’s first fiscal quarter. This figure compares to a net profit of 1,928 million kronor (220 million dollars) achieved in the same period of the previous year.
This is a result of the temporary closure of many of its stores, which is still ongoing in certain markets.
New rental program
In view of these figures, which have shown the weakness of the current business model on which the world of “fast fashion” is based, the sector’s firms have begun to experiment with new ways of generating business.
In this regard, it is noteworthy that H&M has joined the rental culture with the launch of a service that allows users to have a men’s suit free of charge for 24 hours.
This service was launched in the United Kingdom last week and is expected to reach the United States on May 13.
These suits are available in all sizes and must be delivered by customers once the time has expired, to a dry cleaning company with which the textile giant’s brand is associated.
In addition, users will not have to pay for minor damages such as stains or tears, although they will have to pay for major damages.
According to H&M, the goal is to help anyone make a good impression in a job interview.
“A suit isn’t an outfit. It’s confidence. A signal to the world and a reminder to yourself you’ve got what it takes,” says the company. The official website also offers a series of tips on how to successfully conduct a good job interview.