H&M’s stated ambition is to transform the fashion industry by making it more sustainable – and this week the retailer unveiled a new tool that its consumers can use when deciding what – and whether – to buy, whether they’re browsing online or in the store.
The retailer, rated Elite in IRUK Top500 research, this week launched a new transparency layer of information across all of the 47 markets in which it sells online. Customers shopping on the website can see information about where garments were made, by whom and using which materials, when buying from the website. In-store they can scan the price tag, using the H&M app, to see the details.
The tool was trialled on H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collections before being launched this week in all its markets for clothing and for most homewares this week.
Isak Roth, head of sustainability at H&M said: “We are proud to be the first global fashion retailer of our size and scale to launch this level of product transparency. We want to show the world that this is possible. By being open and transparent about where our products are made we hope to set the bar for our industry and encourage customers to make more sustainable choices. With transparency comes responsibility, making transparency such an important factor to help create a more sustainable fashion industry.”
The launch comes weeks after H&M Group launched sellpy.se, a pre-loved shop within a shop for its & Other Stories brand. The brand is testing how shoppers might buy – and sell on – its second hand clothing.
Sanna Lindberg, & Other Stories managing director, said at the time: “We’re exploring different ideas on how our long-lasting designs can find their way to new owners. With that in mind, we decided to do a small second-hand test project with Sellpy. For us, it’s such a compliment to see our pieces find new homes and get a second chapter.”
The news from H&M Group comes at a time of rising interest in sustainability issues, especially in the wake of Extinction Rebellion protests in London last week, calling for urgent action to combat climate change.
New YouGov research from click and collect specialist Doddle suggests that a significant number of shoppers are now prioritising sustainable delivery options such as click and collect – where deliveries are to a single local collection point rather than a number of individual addresses – especially within younger age groups and among women.
Doddle has also calculated in its report, Sustainable delivery, a luxury or necessity in today’s consumer climate, that if the 17.1m customers who buy online every week in the UK only ordered deliveries for pick-up from a drop off point, only 4,600 vans would be needed - rather than the 170,000 currently used. That’s a drop of about 80% in terms of delivery. “This would be the extreme, but even moving towards this in a small way would have a big impact on the environment, given every kilometre of a delivery emits 147g of CO2,” the company said.
The study questioned 2,196 UK adults and found that half (50%) would only buy from retailers with range of sustainable delivery options in future, while 43% said they would be more likely to shop with a rival retailer if they offered a greater range of sustainable delivery options. Almost three-quarters (73%) of women recycle clothes and 43% choose products with less packaging – compared to 47% and 31% of men respectively. More than half (53%) of 18 to 24-year-old shoppers said they would use more direct home delivery in future – compared to 29% of 45-year-olds. Almost two thirds (59%) aim to ‘trip chain’ – combining multiple tasks in a single journey – and of these 76% say it’s to cut costs, but over half (54%) says they are doing it to be more sustainable.
Nearly half (47%) would pay £1 or more for greater sustainablility in delivery, while 26% would pay £2 or more.
Tim Robinson, chief executive of Doddle, said: “As shoppers continue to become more environmentally conscious, retailers need to mirror this in their offer. While convenience remains important for customers, it’s not enough for sustainable delivery to be an add-on or afterthought any more – in an already tough environment it will set brands apart in their battle for customer loyalty.”
Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon