Monday, 10 March 2014

H&M for Stars, Brides and Sustainability

Fast-fashion retailer H&M is polishing its sustainability and affordability image with high-profile marketing initiatives.
At left, a custom designed H&M evening gown made from 'more sustainable' materials, worn by Penelope Cruz to the Vanity Fair Oscar party following the Academy Awards last weekend. From April, consumers will be able to buy a similar gown--sustainably made--in H&M stores. H&M has other sustainable products, including a collection of clothing made from recycled materials.

Providing clean drinking water is another sustainability issue supported by H&M. Each year, the retailer donates 25% of the proceeds from a summer swimwear collection to the not-for-profit group WaterAid. The 2013 promotion was supported by social media posts on Pinterest and Facebook. Customers and employees vote to select the causes supported by H&M's Conscious Foundation, including education, clean water and women's issues. 

At right, H&M's new wedding dress, priced at £59.99. From March, consumers will be able to buy this graceful gown in H&M stores. Other retailers (including M&S, Peacocks and ASDA) have launched affordable wedding collections in the past. 

Will brides buy from H&M? Or is the publicity generated by a pretty dress at a pretty price an affordable way to attract customers to H&M stores to look at the dress--and then buy something else?