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H&M group to test out clothing rental with COS in China

By Rhiannon Edwards

Swedish clothing giant announces a three-month partnership with rental app YCloset

H&M has announced in a statement it will test out the clothing rental model with its minimalist fashion chain COS in China.

Following Banana Republic and Bloomingdales, who have made clothes available for rent on the app, H&M Group has announced it will make COS clothing available for rent on Chinese clothing rental app YCloset for three months next year.

Beijing based YCloset is a fashion rental platform with 15 million registered users. Users pay a monthly subscription rather than a per item fee and are able to buy the clothing after they have rented it. Other models in the market, such as UK-based Girl Meets Dress, offer higher-end designer clothing with one-off rental prices.

Global online clothing rental is expected to attain a market value of $2.8bn (€2.5bn, £2.1bn) by the end of 2027, according to a report by researchandmarkets.com. The same report isolates China and India as key markets for the industry, due to rising disposable income and adoption of a mobile-first lifestyle.

Partnerships such as this one between H&M and YCloset are the beginnings of large fashion conglomerates seeing the business sense in circular economy practices, which are arguably more sustainable.

“We were inspired by YCloset’s eco cleaning facility and their shared vision of sustainability. Cleaning and logistics are critical factors with the rental business, as this is where the environmental impact is high.” said Laura Coppen, circular and sustainable business development, H&M Group , in the statement.

“YCloset’s water recycling and investments in greenfield technology, are in line with what we expect from a collaborative partner,” she added.

H&M added in the statement that the higher-end COS brand’s trial with YCloset would allow it to explore customer demand, the business model, potential to scale and sustainability factors.

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