Fast fashion retailer is going for the slow fade

H&M’s Q1 report for 2018 shows that they’re currently holding on to around $4.3 billion in unsold inventory.

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Guys... That’s wild.

Just take a moment to understand what $4.3 BILLION in consumption looks like. If you wanted to purchase the Oklahoma City Thunder, it would cost $475 Million. Want to take a round-trip to the moon? That’ll be $750 Million, please. Interested in doing something good for the environment and cleaning up the remnants of the 2010 BP Oil Spill off the Gulf of Mexico? $1 Billion.

You could literally clean up the Gulf of Mexico 4 times with what H&M hasn’t sold in inventory, and still have $300 Million left over.

There are a lot of reasons for H&M’s lack of sales, from their inability to pivot their company’s strategy in the face of changing consumer needs, to the movement to online sales (when H&M continues to operate thousands of brick-and-mortar locations), to the rise in luxury labels for younger generations with flexible spending power.

And it’s not just younger generations. Baby boomers have more purchasing power and more disposable income than any other generation, and they’re opting to spend cleaner, greener, and smarter. All this is to say that, at any age, people want to be better consumers and are thinking more about where their dollars are going.

In the last decade, consumers have pushed back more to brands to strengthen their corporate responsibility, and to be transparent about it. H&M is a great example of a company that has issues with transparency and unethical marketing, and I can’t help but think that’s part of why they’re seeing such a strong decline in sales.

As we continue to trend towards ethical, Ethical Fashion brands starting now need to be prepared. When more ethical brands are available to consumers, everyone wins.