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H&M Sister Brands Start Renting Out Quality Kids Wear

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The “second-hand market” has begun extending into children’s clothing.

Arket, the Nordic lifestyle brand owned by fast fashion group H&M, announced its partnership with Dutch online clothing store, Circos. Together, they will launch a children’s wear rental service.

The project will open on January 28. And it will only be available in Europe at the initial stage.
Both Arket and Circos’ official websites support online orders.

They also sell children’s clothing at present.
Arket offers children’s clothes in solid colors. The price range between 10 and 25 euros, while some coats go over 30 euros.

Circos, on the other hand, focuses on children’s wear and toddlers from 0 to 4 years old. They have also worked with sportswear brand Adidas, outdoor brand Patagonia, and sustainable brand Vigga.

The demand for children’s wear

Arket said its partnership with Circos would allow customers in Europe to rent children’s clothing for as low as 19.50 euros per month.

They will deliver children’s wear products selected by customers monthly.
And rented clothes can be kept and used until they are no longer the right size for the users.
At the same time, customers can opt to return the clothes at the end of the season.

Arket expects each piece of clothing from the business to be distributed among up to to 10 families.
Upon the return of the clothes, they then recycle and reuse them to make new clothing products.

Arket also affirmed that the project’s original goal was to adhere to the concept of sustainability. They also want to help environmentally conscious parents to save time, space, and money.

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Children have a great need to update their clothes constantly. This is due to the fact that their bodies are developing and growing.
Therefore, purchasing children’s wear is due to the demand, and not merely consumption.

According to H&M sister brand Arket, every child rapidly changes in the two years after birth. They also estimate that parents buy an average of 280 clothing items for their child in those periods. Unfortunately, most of them last only a few months or less.

Children’s wear growing market

According to market research publisher Global Industry Analysts (GIA), they expect the global children’s wear market to be worth $252.2 billion in 2020. And by 2027, it will be $325.9 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 3.7%.

The children’s clothing industry sees an increase, so as the interest in the secondhand kidswear market.

Several UK brands, such as Bundlee and Belles and Babes, created baby clothing rental services in the last two years.
Consumers can rent baby outfits by paying a monthly subscription fee.
As the child gets older, they can send back clothes that no longer fit. In exchange, the rental company will provide secondhand clothes in new sizes and patterns.

The two companies offer clothing kits for infants up to the age of two.
Subscription fees range from £20 to £40 a month, depending on the brand selected.

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The secondhand market for children’s wear targets resale opportunities in designer and luxury children’s wear as well.

Loopster, an online resale platform founded in 2017, sells second-hand children’s clothing. These clothes are from luxury brands such as Dior, Ralph Lauren and Burberry.
The Guardian reported the data from the company. It shows that the number of customers increased by 23% within three months, from December 2018 to February 2019.

In an interview with the Guardian, Loopster founder Jane Fellner said that customers could buy Loopster’s top-selling brands at a quarter of the initial retail price. And yet, the quality of its products remains intact.

In March 2020, British department store Selfridges and baby luxury website Kidswear Collective launched a pop-up store. They sell secondhand designer brands for children 14 years and younger.
More than 250 brands, including Burberry, Stella McCartney, Gucci, etc., are sold at discounts of up to 80%.

Is secondhand clothing for you?

It’s worth noting that while used kidswear services are starting to take off in the market, many parents are worried about going for second-hand clothing.

Consumers are questioning if clothes are clean enough.
This concern has prompted all second-hand clothing sites to highlight the company’s strict procedures on disposal.

The Kidswear Collective website maintains they go through eight rigorous processes. They ensure the quality and cleanliness of second-hand items before they photograph and resell them.

What’s more, when you search Twitter for children’s secondhand clothing, in addition to the words “green” and “sustainable,” secondhand clothing is often associated with “poverty.”

Many parents said that allowing their children to wear second-hand clothes is a matter of choice.
Because clothes express oneself, they worry that second-hand clothes will affect the children’s personality development.

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As of this writing, H&M sister brand Arket and Circos children’s wear rental business partnership has yet to announce the specific pricing. It remains unknown whether it’s value for money and will appeal to the parent consumer base.

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