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H&M lists hundreds of items for rent

H&M will test a rental service. Images: Getty, H&M

Fashion brand H&M will trial a rental service in a bid to limit the environmental impact of the fast fashion company. 

Under the scheme, to be trialled at the Swedish giant’s flagship store in Stockholm, loyal members will be offered the rental service which will come with a stylist and an atelier repair service. 

Members will be able to rent up to three garments every week at around $54 per piece, from a collection of around 50 items. 

Within the three month trial, those customers will also be selecting items from the brand’s 2012-2019 Conscious Exclusive collections

“We have looked at clothing rental for quite some time and are so happy to for the first time soon offer fashion fans the possibility to rent some stunning pieces from our Conscious Exclusive collections,” head of sustainability at H&M Pascal Brun said. 

“We look forward to evaluating this as we are dedicated to change the way fashion is made and consumed today.”

Earlier this year, the UK considered implementing a fast fashion tax which would see large retailers like H&M and Zara, which operate off a “buy now” culture by selling cheap clothes, taxed. The plan was to prevent the large amounts of waste generated by these brands from going to landfill. 

And while the legislation didn’t pass, the issue of conscious consumption remains in the spotlight internationally. 

According to a PayPal study, around one in five Australians feel a “fear of missing out” FOMO if they don’t buy an item when it’s on sale, leading to an average $108 in impulse buys every month. 

Stores like Zara and H&M’s micro-cycles, where new items and sales are revealed up to every week, also feed into that FOMO culture. 

Concerningly, charity Barnardos has also found that around three-in-10 women consider clothing old after having worn them three times. And one-in-seven said being pictured in the same outfit more than a few times was also a factor in their decision to throw out old clothes. 

H&M is not the only company considering rental services. 

Adelaide woman Alexia Frangos launched her own plus-sized rental service, 808 Threads, after finding a frustrating lack of services for women with her shape. 

“You don't want to go and buy a $200 or $300 dress for one occasion and never wear it again,” she told Yahoo Finance

“There was such a demand, a thirst, for this.”

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