H&M Group’s the Laboratory is collaborating with Weekday to make online shopping more sustainable by using reusable packaging and on-demand manufacturing. After receiving their order, customers can get a discount if they return the packaging by dropping the Repack into any post box or Weekday store. The Repack is then cleaned and suitable to use again.

Earlier, H&M had partnered with Repack, a Finnish start-up that created a reusable packaging model for the textile industry. Thus H&M’s repack model will re-circulate the same packaging over and over again, said the company in a report.

“On-demand enables us to produce just the right amount, based on customer demand, reducing unnecessary production and therefore unsold product. A reusable packaging system makes sense for us to test as we are also sending items directly from the factory to customers. We will continue to iterate on our learnings as we go, whilst building new capabilities into our supply chain,” said Laura Coppen, Circular/Sustainable Business Development, The Laboratory, H&M Group.

The project also focuses on on-demand manufacturing, which means that H&M’s customers can choose either a t-shirt or a sweatshirt which is made from 100 per cent organic cotton, and then customise it by choosing between a variety of print, text and stickers. The print technology uses no water, and as the rest of H&M Group’s products, does not entail banned chemicals. With on-demand, the company continues to explore new sustainable business models to reduce excess production and ensure that it produce the right product, in the right time, for the right customer.

Another new addition to the shopping experience is that the items in the project are manufactured in a near shore production facility. This will enable these products to be produced and shipped directly to customers, which will only take 2-3 days. This will? Reduce the number of steps in the supply chain, as well as unnecessary emissions and costs?

“We want to ensure that all our tests are heading the industry in the right direction, towards a more sustainable and circular future, that’s why we start small, evaluate the successes and scale smartly. We see on-demand as a great opportunity to be sustainable yet profitable. Reusable packaging is a very interesting case, and we’re curious to see how our customers react to a new offer,” said Coppen.

H&M Group wants to lead the change in circular packaging, both for commercial and non-commercial goods. With projects and test like these, it does not only offer a new customer experience, it also brings itself one step closer to achieve its vision to become 100 per cent circular and renewable.