H&M partners with YCloset to test clothing rental in China; attempts to explore sustainable fashion space

H&M is helping people becoming more environmentally conscious. The Swedish clothing retail giant on Friday said that its brand COS has tied up with Chinese subscription rental platform YCloset to try out renting clothing in China. The tie-up is in a bid to expand into the sustainable fashion space, as an increasing number of consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impacts of fast fashion.

Understandably, H&M's move is in a bid to boost its environmental credentials. The tie-up will be initially for three months and on a trial basis. This also makes H&M the last fashion label to join the likes of Bloomingdale's M.N and GAP's Banana Republic, which are already into monthly-basis clothing rental business.

H&M tries to react to critics

H&M YouTube Grab

H&M in the past few years last launched a wide range of brands including COS. However, its core revenue generating brand still remains H&M.

The company said that though this tie-up with YCloset it will try to understand the customer demand and also explore the potential in sustainable fashion market.

H&M, which is the second largest fashion group in the world, has been facing criticism for a long time. The fast-fashion industry which includes brands like H&M is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and producers of global wastewater. Since then the company has been looking for alternate ways to boost its environmental credentials.

"Subscription rental has been on our radar for some time and we feel this is a very relevant model for us to explore," the company said in a statement.

H&M last week launched its first-ever in-house rental service of a limited range of festive gowns alongside refurbished store in Stockholm. The store is offering its customers a chance to rent clothes instead of buying them from its party and wedding collection. The store is also on a three-month trial period.

Tie-up with YCloset a strategic move

H&M YouTube Grab

China is one of the biggest and fast-growing markets for fast fashion. At the same time, a number of Chinese consumers are increasingly becoming concerned about the environmental impact of fast fashion. It thus makes for an opportune time for H&M to explore this market.

Moreover, YCloset is the largest clothing rental platform in China with 15 million users, who take clothing on rentals. The partnership with YCloset will thus give H&M a ready consumer base to explore the sustainable fashion market.