H&M is one of the biggest Swedish fast-fashion clothing retail company. Because it is such a well-known company and as a customer of H&M, I naturally got to see how h&m was trying different ways to be sustainable. They started to launch ‘Conscious collection’ which is a special line in H&M that uses recycled clothes, and sustainable materials. Their goal is to make more sustainable fashion choices available, affordable and attractive to as many people as possible. I was pretty impressed that they started to give 15% off for next purchase if the customer brings clothes or textiles. Moreover, I remember that I saw the sign that all H&M is working toward to use only renewable energy throughout our stores, offices and warehouses. As I went over about their sustainability policy and their sustainability report I started to see how they are focusing not only on environmental sustainability but also on sustainability on working experiences. I hope through this project I can learn about their effort and have an opportunity to think if there is any potential to make these policies more effective to the customer.
Looking good should do good too. That’s what our sustainability work is all about.
To make sure our customers wear our products with pride we have to be conscious in all our actions.
By looking their approach toward sustainability, H&M was trying to find a way to keep their products trendy and reasonably priced, yet keep all the products trendy and fashionable.
They are trying to emphasize on ‘Sustainability is what cool/trendy people do and you should be trendy by being sustainable.’
Because H&M is a clothing company, through motivating the customers to bring their clothes, they encouraged people to recycle by rewarding them (15% off, which will give another motivation for the customers to shop at H&M later) and this action will eventually not only save natural energies but also their coast in energy, material use.
Moreover as a huge company, H&M emphasizes on how they have a duty to set up a goal and follow these goals and lead other companies to join their belief.
- Provide fashion for conscious customers
- Choose and reward responsible partners
- Be ethical
- Be climate smart
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Use natural resources responsibly
- Strengthen communities
H&M’s Business value(Models) through Sustainability
H&M tried to focus not only to the process until they actually sell their product, but also after the customers buy their product.
- Design: As a fashion designer, they believe it is their duty to choose the right material, look , quality and trendy style. They emphasize how designers’ small choices can cause huge impact on their
- Raw Materials: By choosing the right materials, this choice will impact working conditions and save water and reduce chemical use
- Fabric and Yarn Production: Currently, they do not have direct business relationships with mills, however they integrated the fabric and yarn mills involved in making around 50% of their products into their supplier system, and they are currently in the list of Chemical restrictions list in the industry.
- Garment Production: Instead of having their own factories, they collaborate with independent suppliers. They hire people from some of the world’s poorest countries, and they are achieving fair wages, reducing overtime working hours, and making sure that they are always working in safe environment.
- Transport: Using ships and trains in order to transport 90% of their products.
- Sales: Using renewable energy in their stores, offices and warehouses.
- Customers: Encourage customers to gain habits to maintain clothes in more sustainable way, and they encourage customers to bring their old clothes or textiles no matter what brand or condition the garment is in.
- Recycling: They carefully consider that 95% of all textiles can be recycled and is a really important resource. They have already launched collections containing 20% recycled cotton from their garment collecting program.
H&M’s Conscious line
One of the biggest movement that H&M performed to the customer was launching the ‘Conscious collection’. They started to launch ‘Conscious collection’ which is a special line in H&M that uses recycled clothes, and sustainable materials. Their goal is to make more sustainable fashion choices available, affordable and attractive to as many people as possible.They inform how the clothes are sustainably produced through green tag.
H&M’s Conscious line vs. Zara’s Join Life Collection
Zara’s boxes with a past – http://www.zara.com/us/en/join-life/boxes-with-a-past-c841547.html
Was H&M’s Conscious line really effective to the customers?
Even though they seemed quite successful I questioned myself that if this is really changing the customers’ behavior and give some kind of impact on their mindsets.
So in order to see how actual customers are familiar about this concept and how they feel about this concept.
I asked 21 girls who are in 20s to see how much they are concept of Conscious line and unfortunately, only 3/21 people were familiar with this concept, and none of the people were considering if the clothes are made sustainably or not.
So from this research I’ve noticed that people have positive aspects of what they are doing and being sustainable is important, however either because lack of chance to know about the conscious line, or people still weren’t having enough empathy of being sustainable even though they have pretty deep knowledge about sustainability.
Through competitor analysis, competitor such as Zara was trying to provide more different ways of services in order to encourage people to naturally behave sustainably through purchasing their products.
In my opinion, I think the biggest challenge to make the customers sustainable is to motivate enough to change their behaviors. We all acknowledge that environmental problem is a huge wicked problem and it is our duty to find a way to be sustainable. However at the same time, people tend to think this environmental problems are not their problem, because we think these problems are under control.
Before I think possible ways to motivate people to be sustainable, I started to think what factors are important to customers to buy clothes, and I came up with key words that what features really matters to consumers and I came up with 3 keywords : Scarcity, Style, value of the brand.
And I reminded that H&M’s collaboration with high fashion brand does really satisfies these 3 factors. People wait in line lines even the day before the opening time in order to buy the clothes, and online website traffic is paralyzed. So I saw this event has a lot of potential to expose the concept of sustainable clothes.
By adding different sustainable theme when they collaborate with high fashion brands, huge amount of people will get to learn and know about its theme naturally.
So as a possible solution, I came up with an idea to have a conscious membership system. By giving out little advantages to H&M’s current event or shopping experiences, customers will act sustainably in order to get rewarded in different ways.
Give priority in lining high brand collaboration based on the milage points
Add mileage points for consuming Conscious line
Add mileage points for being sustainable ex) Bringing old clothes, Bringing reusable bag
Through these suggestive ideas I am expecting for people to have an idea of being sustainable and naturally change their behavior by company providing a direct reward and have impact on their shopping experiences.