H&M Group’s Arket brand has announced the start of rental for kidswear “to encourage reuse and re-wear” as sustainability increasingly becomes a key priority for millennial parents. The company will begin offering products for rent later this month from its children’s collection via a new partnership with Amsterdam-based online shop and clothing subscription business Circos.
It said, “a broad selection of Arket designs can be rented either individually or as part of an edited bundle of clothes on circos.co, delivered directly to the door”.The subscription is available to European customers from €19.50 a month. Rented clothes can be “kept and used for as long as they fit and returned when it’s time to size up or update the wardrobe for a new season”.
Arket said that between eight and 10 families “will share and enjoy the same piece of clothing, and once the product eventually wears out, the materials are repurposed to make new products”.
Its MD Pernilla Wohlfahrt said “children’s clothes need to be designed with a longer-term horizon in mind, and all our garments are consciously intended to be handed down when outgrown.”
It’s an interesting viewpoint given the recent news from Swedish peer KappAhl that it’s launching a new kidswear brand called Minories that’s made with as long a life as possible in mind. Items in the line-up are designed to work with each new seasonal collection and also to be lengthened.
Along with the Arket news, it reflects an awareness of how heavily focused on eco concerns consumers are with a desire to reduce the fashion sector’s over-production and also to get maximum value for money out of their clothes. And the Arket development happens as the adult rental market also grows.
The retailer said that a typical child “grows through eight sizes in the first two years of its life, and on average, their parents buy around 280 pieces of clothing during this time – most of which are only used for a few months, or even less”.
It believes that renting instead of buying “allows customers to share the footprint of the products and also saves time, money and space as the wardrobe can grow along with the child”.
Circos CEO and founder Erick Bouwer added: “With our partnership, [we] bring a valuable and much-needed service to a growing market of environmentally-conscious parents and caretakers.”