Trend Alert | H&M’s One/Second/Suit

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest trends that are impacting the daily lives of 16-24s.

In recent months, we’ve written a lot about the broad impact of COVID-19 on Gen Z, and how brands can step in to prevent them from becoming a “lost generation.” High street fashion brand H&M has come up with a great initiative to support those facing the challenge of finding their first job after graduating amid a pandemic and financial crisis. They are offering men the chance to rent a suit for 24 hours for a job interview, to help those who may struggle to afford this otherwise, ensuring they can present a professional look and approach the interview with confidence.

In a survey for a recent Youth Trends Report, 77% of UK 16-24s who were working in March 2020 said their jobs were negatively impacted by the pandemic. Of those who have looked for a job during the pandemic, just 59% were actually working as of January 2021. This youth employment crisis will impact this generation, holding them back from reaching career milestones and achieving their financial goals, for example getting onto the property ladder or being able to support a family. Young people worried about their career options will look positively on brands that are lending a hand during this time, especially those that make a financial sacrifice to support their needs.

Aside from tackling the Gen Z jobs crisis, H&M’s new initiative also supports their sustainability goals. The ONE/SECOND/SUIT rental service is H&M’s first foray into the rental market in the UK (a paid rental offering was launched in Sweden in 2019). This is a growing trend in the fashion industry, led by businesses such as Rent The Runway and Hirestreet. These services allow consumers to rent items of clothing that they may have otherwise bought and only worn once. By renting the outfit instead of buying, they can save money and protect the planet by reducing waste.

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