H&M Teaches Shoppers to Take Care of Their Clothes

H&M Teaches Shoppers to Take Care of Their Clothes

June 22, 2018
3 min read

As part of H&M’s wider sustainability efforts, the retailer is trialling a new initiative in Germany that aims to educate consumers on how to take better care of their fashion purchases. Not only has the retailer launched a new range of branded laundry products, but visitors to H&M’s Hamburg store can also now get their clothes fixed by in-store seamstresses.

The Take Care initiative also has an online presence that provides clothing care advice and information, such as how to remove stains or reattach buttons. Coinciding with the launch, H&M hosted a series of free workshops in partnership with several local influencers to raise awareness of the project. Since the launch of the initiative in 2018, the project has now been rolled out to several other markets around the world.

H&M Competitors Feel the Pressure

Sustainability in the world of fashion is a growing trend. H&M competitors such as Zara, River Island, and John Lewis are all leading brands in this market. Additionally, App-based retailers such as Vinted have entered the market on the premise of pre-loved fashion, acting as the antithesis of the fast fashion industry.

Mintel’s consumer research on fashion and sustainability indicates that there will be increasing pressure for fashion retailers to behave more sustainably in future. Almost half of clothing consumers in Germany consider sustainability when shopping for fashion. Despite this, costs are still a significant factor with 70% of German consumers trying to reduce their spending. Brands need to try to encourage consumers to purchase fewer but higher quality and more sustainable items.

This is true on a global level too. Individually, consumers can only make small changes, but as a collective audience in the fashion industry, changes at scale are possible. Mintel’s Global Outlook on Sustainability explains more on this topic. 

However, historically the onus has been left with retailers to make changes, whilst consumers have remained reluctant to change their shopping habits based on environmental or ethical issues. What is interesting about the H&M Take Care initiative is that it puts more control in the hands of consumers, encouraging them to prolong the life of clothing as opposed to frequently replacing items. This could be a successful strategy given that half of consumers think it can be hard to find quality clothing that lasts a long time.

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Samantha Dover
Samantha Dover

Samantha Dover is Mintel’s Category Director – Beauty & Personal Care, identifying and analysing emerging beauty and personal care trends and writing in-depth market research reports in multiple sectors.

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