H&M Expands Secondhand Store as More Shoppers Demand Sustainability

Samantha McDonald

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H&M’s secondhand store is leaning into new markets.

The fast-fashion giant announced yesterday the expansion of its majority-owned Sellpy shop, which has operated in Sweden for six years and is now launching in Germany. When it comes to resale, Sellpy manages the entire sales process — from picking up the items from sellers’ homes to taking photos of the products, as well as selling and shipping them.

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The move outside the platform’s home market comes as more customers seek sustainable fashion options, particularly in light of the current health crisis.

“We see that the awareness and demand from our customers for sustainable fashion is constantly growing and is now probably greater than ever,” H&M Germany country manager Thorsten Mindermann said in a statement. “That’s why we’re particularly pleased to be able to offer a new sustainable way of buying and selling fashion.”

H&M Group first invested in Sellpy in 2015 through its investment arm, CO:LAB, and currently holds a 70% stake in the company.

“Every garment that is bought secondhand saves valuable resources for our planet,” added Sellpy CEO Michael Arnör. “As Sweden’s largest online shop for secondhand, we want to empower everyone to live circular, so we make it super easy to give articles a second chance.”

In recent years, H&M has doubled down on its efforts to become a more sustainable company: Last fall, the retailer tested a rental service of select party dresses and skirts from its previous Conscious Exclusive collections. It has also launched a trial of vintage garments, as well as offered repair services for customers to either mend or upgrade their fashion items.

According to nonprofit group Fashion Revolution’s 2020 Fashion Transparency index, which was released in April, H&M ranks among the world’s most transparent fashion brands. The United Nations reports that the apparel industry alone accounts for roughly 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more energy than both shipping and aviation.

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