When H&M opens the doors to its newly renovated Parisian flagship tomorrow, customers will feel like they’ve entered some sort of fast-fashion atelier.
The top floor of the Swedish retailer’s massive new store — 50,000-square-feet sprawling out over six floors — will be home to a fleet of sewing machines, bottles of natural detergents and eco-friendly stain removing sprays, along with bins of patches and embroideries. It’s the store’s new repair station, a result of the company’s new “Take Care” sustainability initiative. The idea is to invite customers to bring in clothing, not just H&M clothing, to be repaired and made new again. “This is something that young people expect us to do. Maybe they don’t want to have it in their face, but they expect us to do it, and we feel the responsibility to do it, there’s no way around it, we have to,” Anna Gedda, head of sustainability for H&M, told WWD.
Customers can also restyle their old garments with patches and embroideries, updating and upcycling their looks. “Saying that with the denims you bought last season, this is how you style them in a new way so you don’t always have to change everything — you can add little things to your wardrobe but keep the old things but then use it in a new way to feel new — we like to express ourselves with how we dress,” Gedda added.“It’s not just about making fashion sustainable but also to make sustainable fashionable, to make it attractive and desirable to engage customers around it.”
A clothing recycling station is also located on the top floor of the newly refurbished store, a continuation of H&M’s other sustainability initiative in which customers can haul in old clothing (again, not just H&M garments) to be recycled in exchange for a store discount.
The “Take Care” section of the store marries the Swedish retailer’s long-held passion for sustainability along with the need for different points of in-store engagement for shoppers, an issue all of retail is tackling at the moment. Among the other bells and whistles in the newly renovated space is a 4,000 H&M Home department complete with bed floor displays and a new Paris-inspired capsule collection that’s sold exclusively in the store.
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