H&M is set to trial sales of second-hand and vintage clothes as it seeks to tap into consumers' growing concerns about the environmental cost of fast fashion.
Head Of Sustainability for the brand, Anna Gedda told Reuters that H&M would launch a pilot in Sweden for online sales of second-hand garments on the site of its & Other Stories brand, with the aim of extending the scheme to other markets and brands in years to come.
"We see this as a growing part of the industry, with great opportunities both for consumers and not least for the environmental impact, and how we can drastically reduce that by extending the life of the products."
This follows the recent launch of the brand's Conscious Exclusive range. The Scandinavian retailer has long-boasted a sustainability line, which has ever expanded with time.
Described as the “most anticipated collection” by H&M, the joint venture was driven by the need to reinvent fashion in a greener way. The collection features high street clothes made with all natural by-products.
The sense of urgency around such a collection is a direct result of the damage done by the rapid growth of the fast fashion sector, exemplified by the likes of Primark and Zara.
This is the brand's second time to sell second-hand clothes. Plans kicked off some years ago but the project was subsequently abandoned. Vintage H&M garments are available for sale on fashion marketplaces run by the likes of ASOS and eBay.
"Now is a whole different moment with awareness of sustainability," Gedda said.
"If you have worked with IT processes in a big company, it is as close to a moon landing as we will ever get," she said.