H&M’s hand for circular fashion: Opens pop-ups to sell vintage pieces

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The environmental impact created by the fashion industry is pretty much notorious, as per reports the post-industrial waste created by the textile industry in the US annually is up to 120,000 tons.

Establishing a circular economy for the fashion industry is one of the most talked-about topics at the moment, as companies aim to reuse old stock in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of a widely renowned wasteful industry.

In recent years, some big names in the fashion world have pledged to achieve a circular fashion culture and now the Swedish high street giant H&M has entered into the group to try its hand at adopting this idea, as per sources it will be opening pop-up stores to sell its vintage pieces.

The cloth collection on offer will be from the brand’s more fashion-forward line H&M Studio, rather than its normal stock. H&M Studio has long been existed as the company’s space for experimentation, creating out-there fashion collections aimed more at the Paris Fashion Week than the high street. It presents two see-now, buy-now collections a year as part of the Paris calendar.

Such avant-garde pieces do not pull everyone’s attention and would not match all customers’ tastes. So those collections did not get sold and were stored away. Now, realizing it is better to reuse pieces rather than simply piling them to gather dust, the company is launching two shops to sell past collections.

At present, the stores will only be in Sweden and Germany, but the company has plans to gradually expand. H&M is partnering with Swedish vintage store Sellpy to offer a curated selection of old collections in four more stores.

Trying to encourage the reusing of clothes among customers, Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor, stated, “We need to be circular and we know that a big piece of that is reuse. It’s a matter of seeing every garment as if it doesn’t just have one life, but it has maybe nine lives, like a cat.”

The fast-fashion stores have drawn heavy criticism for the pollution they are driving and for encouraging a throw-away culture towards clothes and to address this, H&M has consistently been working on ways to reduce waste, pollution and the use of chemicals.

Last year, H&M launched Looop in one of its Stockholm stores, which is a machine that enables customers to bring in an old garment and watch the machine turn it into something new.

The machine cleans the items, cuts them and then spins them into a new thread. The threads are then woven into a new garment. It only needs a fraction of virgin fibers to make the new garment and it uses no water or chemicals.

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