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H&M subsidiary Sellpy announced on Monday that it is expanding operations in Europe. The Swedish company is expected to open stores in over 20 countries. This expansion further consolidates Sellpy’s growth in the European fashion market.
Second-hand fashion is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. One notable player in this segment is Sellpy. The ecommerce platform was first launched in Sweden in 2014. It was “born out of the idea of enabling everyone to live circular.” Consumers use Sellpy to sell second-hand fashion goods.Today, Sellpy is a leader in the movement for sustainable fashion.
The sales process on Sellpy is user-friendly and hassle free. Users pack all unwanted items into a Sellpy bag. Next, Sellpy handles everything from picking up the goods from homes to photographing, sales and shipping.
Sellpy pays consumers for the sale of their goods. For profit reasons, Sellpy requires all items to be worth more than €5. As an added incentive, Sellpy pays more if the items are more than €50.
Following its success in Sweden, Sellpy expanded operations in Europe last year. The platform was launched in Germany (June 2020). In February this year, Sellpy launched in the Netherlands and Austria. In the latter two cases, Sellpy teamed up with H&M to create H&M Austria and H&M Netherlands.
In a statement this Monday, Sellpy Head of Expansion Gustav Wessman reaffirmed his company’s commitment to sustainable values. “Every garment bought pre-owned,” Wessman said, “saves resources for our planet.” Wessman expressed confidence in his company’s ability to “empower more customers in Europe to ‘live circular.’” He also said that demand for sustainable fashion (especially second hand items on Sellpy) will continue to grow.
Sellpy’s growth takes its current stable of European markets to 24. Investor confidence in the company is high: as of 2021, over 9 million garments in total have been sold on the platform.
H&M stands to profit from Sellpy’s growth as it owns around 70% of the company. Since 2015, Sellpy has received around 20 million Euros ($24.38 million) from H&M CO:LAB (i.e., the investment arm of H&M Group).
Dissecting the Growth of Second-Hand Fashion
Western consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases. Brands today are expected to pivot and go green. In recent years, consumers (especially on social media) have criticized unsustainable practices in the fashion industry. The ‘throwaway culture’ and ‘fast fashion’ – which pretty much defines the industry – have come under scrutiny. Yielding to the pressure, industry leaders are now responding to eco-conscious consumers with eco-friendly initiatives.
Brands such as H&M are trying to make textile production more eco-friendly. Efforts to this end include sustainable use of finite resources. Companies have been investing in new business models in the areas of rental, repair and re-commerce. Transitioning from a linear to circular model of production has also helped to limit waste to some extent.