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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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  • Aditi Rohan

    Polishing the information and not talking about the factories where is it made has always worked in favour of these retail giants.
    Cotton farmers are in draught, factories are not able to increase the wage rates, all because the retailers are not willing to pay more for the same product.

  • @aditirohan:disqus
    Well worded Aditi 🙂 Often Companies use the argumentation that the consumer is not willing to pay a higher price, but if we take a look at H&M and see how Stefan Persson (chairman at H&M) is the richest person in Sweden and under the top 20 richest people in the world the question comes to mind if it might just be a matter of distribution….?

  • Matthew James Boelk

    http://www.groceriesapparel.com Makes all their products in their own Factory in the USA and exclusively from organic/recycled/hemp materials. They are my favorite!

  • Raeleigh Hall

    I have recently done research on some of these issues and this is an article I recently had published. This article focuses mainly on sweatshops and the documentary “The True Cost” which can be found on Netflix or Youtube. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-you-can-do-to-end-sweatshops

  • I manufacture hemp blend clothing in Denver, Colorado. My company is ColoradoHempClothing.com and I derive an incredible amount of pleasure from manufacturing in my town. The ladies who sew at my cut and sew facility are not getting rich, but are able to make a living wage and they feel very proud of what they do. They create clothing made with sustainable fabrics, from a plant that we grow in the countryside all around Colorado. We will all rejoice on the day that we are able to knit and weave

  • Sarah Judy

    Knowing the name or location of a factory has no affect on its ethical production standards ! Crazy how naive people are.

  • Harleen Chhabra

    I like the direction in which they’re moving with the transparency but until they have information about the actual factory conditions, it’s hard to believe it’s any different than the regular H&M clothing. I own a womens and mens contemporary clothing company (WWW.HARLEENKAUR.US) and we produce everything exclusively at a local factory in NYC where we can see, first-hand, the conditions in which the seamstresses are working and can verify that they’re being treated well and paid fairly.

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  • Sadee Gamhewa

    As Sarah mentioned below, “knowing the name or location of a factory has no affect on its ethical production standards! Crazy how naive people are.”. My question is, does the author get paid for promoting this (serious question – I’m not being snarky); otherwise, giving credit like this and saying that H&M is being transparent is a big stretch and borders on being a lie.

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