H&M launches resale marketplace for US

Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M has announced the launch of a resale programme in the US.

The initiative is a collaboration with ThredUp, with H&M becoming the online consignment platform’s largest retail partner. ThredUp currently offers products from brands including Lululemon, Anthropologie and J. Crew.

The standalone H&M resale side will be powered by ThredUp, with the retailer saying that it will initially offer around 30,000 articles of clothing. The site's stocks will be replenished with H&M pieces sent in by users.

In comments to Reuters, Abigail Kammerzell, head of sustainability for H&M North America, said: "We’ve been working in secondhand since about 2015, really testing and learning. And what we know is we need to make it easier to adopt. We need to make it user-friendly and we need to make it easy to access."

The clothing resale market is becoming increasingly lucrative, with conscious consumers often opting to buy pre-worn clothes due to their lower cost and lower carbon footprint. Other major fast fashion brands including SHEIN and Zara have also moved into this space, while brokerage Morningstar has estimated that the resale market could reach $300 million by 2031.

H&M has historically faced criticisms of ‘greenwashing’, and last year was hit by a lawsuit that alleged it of displaying sustainability scores that falsified information on how the clothing was manufactured. The company has since removed the scores from its website after the coalition which developed the scoring metric paused its use.

Elsewhere, H&M has reported its first quarter results for 2023, with the retailer posting a 12 per cent increase in sales between 1 December 2022 and 28 February 2023. Excluding Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, the rise in net sales was 16 per cent. The company, which is in the middle of a cost-cutting programme, will post its full quarterly report on March 31.

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