Future retail: H&M’s Arket encourages transparent shopping on its new e-commerce site

London’s Regent Street is getting a new retail player this week with the opening of H&M Group brand Arket. And ahead of the launch the retail team here at WGSN explored the pre-sale options on the brand’s e-commerce site. While the product offerings look enticing -Scandi vibes but at a more competitive price point- it was the product descriptions that caught our attention. The interesting part of the business is how they’re foregrounding the provenance of each product down to exactly where each item is produced.


Consumers can click to expand the product description to find out more about the name of the factory and the location, Arket also has its own transparency policy that shoppers can read up on. Arket’s corresponding Instagram account is also being used as yet a further tool for product description and transparency by offering up more information about the fabrics used (such as recycled polyester derived from post-consumer PET bottles).

This is a progressive step forward for the new retailer, and one that its Millennial consumers will appreciate. Today consumers are placing a higher value on where their clothing comes from and how it’s made, and claim to be willing to spend 10% to 15% more on ethically produced clothing, says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst at NPD Group. And brands have responded to this consumer shift by slowing getting rid of the cloak and dagger secrecy that surrounds the process of how clothes are made. In the UK, Marks & Spencer, and globally H&M, adidas and Gap have all published their supplier factory lists.

And so, it shouldn’t truly come as a surprise that H&M owned Arket is also being transparent about how its clothes are made, but it’s still a very encouraging sign, especially as Arket is set to be a major new player in the retail e-commerce space. That said, even this has its limitations,  if you are interested in each factory’s ethical standards, you have to do your own leg work from there – they don’t give you a rating or any info about the factory.

Tell us what you think? Have you shopped the pre-sale collection yet? Do you think retailers need to do more when it comes to transparent retail?

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