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COS dips into fashion rental market in China

Tom Shearsmith
12 December 2019

As consumers across the globe are turning to rental models as a means of mixing up their wardrobes, H&M Group's COS is rolling out a three-month trial in the rental market in China in hopes to capitalise on the trend.

Partnering with Chinese subscription rental program YCloset, COS aims to reach the country’s more eco-minded consumers.

The program is part of the fashion group’s method of exploring new methods of doing business in the interest of transitioning to a more circular economy, according to a release on the company’s website.

H&M Group is the world’s second-largest fashion parent company, and YCloset is China’s largest fashion rental platform. Partnering for a trial run will provide H&M Group with valuable insights into the Chinese rental market and allow the company to learn more about customer demographics.

The trial is also part of a long-term analysis, calculating if the rental market would work in other countries such as the UK. It will also allow H&M group to explore customer demand, the correct business model, potential to scale and sustainability factors.

In the statement COS Managing Director Marie Honda said: “It is important for us to try new approaches - testing and collaborating to achieve the best outcome for our customer and community - as well as the future of our business”.

“With our learn by doing approach, we will test subscription rental in China and iterate on learnings as we go,” she added.

In an attempt to make the current platform more environmentally sound, customers will be able to buy their rented COS garments at a reduced price when the rental period is over. The Laboratory hopes that this incentive to buy will prevent the clothing from being recycled too early once it’s out of rental rotation, prolonging its lifespan.

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