H&M is trialling a new clothes rental initiative in its flagship Stockholm branch to combat the effects of fast fashion.
The retailer – which also owns brands Cos, Cheap Monday, Monki, ARKET and Weekday – has come under fire in recent years for contributing to climate change with its cheap, mass-made clothing.
The alternative rental service will allow customers who subscribe to rent clothes for 30 days, after which point they must be returned or purchased.
The amount of items shoppers can borrow is limited though, with the service capped at 50 curated garments a month.
It’s also currently only available to members of H&M’s loyalty programme, at a price of 350 kroner (£29.36) a week.
If successful after three months, the company will consider expanding the rental service internationally.
“We have a huge belief in rental, but we still want to test and learn quite a lot and do tweaks and changes,” said Daniel Claesson, H&M’s head of business development on the new launch.
The move follows a United Nations report that found fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world.
Enough water to meet the needs of a million people is used by the fashion industry every year.
Fast fashion in particular has been criticised for the exacerbation of unethical and unsustainable clothing production that also encourages consumers to dispose of clothing frequently.
This helps contribute to half a million tons of microfibre – equivalent to three million barrels of oil – being dumped in the ocean every year.
H&M isn’t the only large retailer making efforts to tackle damaging consumption cycles they’ve contributed too.
Urban Outfitters and Banana Republic both launched similar rental services earlier this year.
H&M has also announced it intends for greenhouse gas emissions produced by the business to be negative – meaning offset more than it produces – by 2040.