H&M takes up sale of second-hand apparel

Foto: Alastair Wallace / Shutterstock.com

H&M is about to begin the sale of second-hand items: the fashion group will launch this new project on the Swedish website of subsidiary & Other Stories. Other brands and countries will follow.


Drastically reducing environmental impact

The second-hand market is a growing one, including in fashion: its turnover is expected to double over the next five years, representing 51 billion dollars, according to Reuters. That growth is connected to the rising demand for sustainability as well as concerns surrounding the morality of fast fashion.

That's precisely why fast fashion giant H&M is interested in this topic, as sustainability director Anna Gedda announced on an event in Berlin on the future of fashion. In its native market of Sweden, H&M will be launching a pilot for the online sale of second-hand clothes on the site of its brand & Other Stories. The goal is to expand the initiative to other markets and brands over the coming years.

"We see this as a growing part of the industry, with great opportunities both for consumers and not least for the environmental impact, and how we can drastically reduce that by extending the life of the products," says Gedda. The initiative also fits in H&M's "circular vision": the fashion producer wants to evolve in the direction of a circular, waste-free value chain.


Another giant leap

H&M is conducting the experiment in collaboration with Swedish second-hand platform Sellpy, a start-up company that has benefited from an H&M investment. Sellpy will be adding a section for second-hand clothing from & Other Stories on its own site as well. The Swedish fashion group has attempted to sell second-hand items before, but that project ended in failure. However, Gedda believes the time is right now, thanks to the current awareness surrounding sustainability.

Furthermore, Gedda says the group is anticipating another giant leap: H&M is said to be ready to launch a system that allows buyers to see the factory where an item was made and to find out more details about the fabric.The sustainability director believes that for a company as large as this, what the're doing is a feat comparable to the moon landing. Recently, H&M also announced their ambition to be using 100% sustainable materials by 2030.