H&M : Sustainability comes into fashion

A handful of the Swedish fashion retailer’s consumer websites have prominent ‘Sustainability’ sections for customers. 

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The feature

H&M’s consumer websites in the UK, Norway and Sweden have primary ‘Sustainability’ sections, located directly on the retail sites. In addition, the product mega menus for ‘Ladies’, ‘Men’, ‘Kids’ and ‘H&M Home’ include links under ‘Sustainability at H&M’.

In the ‘Sustainability’ section there is a clear tie-in with a product line, ‘Conscious Shop’, with several product links in the left menu. Two other sections – ‘What are we doing?’ and ‘What can you do?’ have links to what is conventionally thought of as ‘corporate’ material – including the sustainability strategy, sustainability report and ‘Modern Slavery Statement’.

The ‘Sustainability’ section roll-out appears limited – we could not find it on the other consumer sites we checked, including the US, Canada, France, Germany or India, for example.

The takeaway

H&M has a ‘Conscious’ product line so it makes sense that the company would put its sustainability credentials front and centre to persuade potentially sceptical customers.

More widely, the fashion industry has been under fire for its environmental and social impacts, including textile waste, plastic microfibres and labour practices in factories. All the more reason to explain the actions H&M is taking in response, if it genuinely has a positive story to tell.

Some of our clients in other sectors say that ‘people aren’t interested in our sustainability report’. H&M is clearly setting out to change that.

If even only some of your customers care about sustainability – and our visitor research shows that a meaningful number of customers do care - why not put it in the areas they are sure to visit, rather than making them search for it?

First published 01 October, 2019
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