Water Cooler: The Men In Suits
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There’s many ways that brands can get in front of their target audience or receive recognition, and one of them is by supporting an initiative or cause that’s reflective of their brands and, thus, is relative and important to its clientele. As part of its latest campaign to promote its H&M Man collection, which targets the working male demographic, the apparel company is offering complimentary 24-hour suit rentals to help men best present themselves for job interviews, following the hardships of the pandemic year.
The service, ONE/SECOND/SUIT, launched in the UK in mid-April and in the U.S. on May 13, and is permitting customers to order a navy blue suit online, size range from XS-2XL, and have it shipped directly to a desired address. If the suit is returned to one of H&M’s dry-cleaning partners within 24 hours of receiving it—a prepaid bag is included with shipment—then the service is free. If the suit is returned late, the recipient is charged a fee, which will be put toward a donation to an unnamed charity, and although wearers aren’t responsible for minor wear and tear, they will be charged the retail value of the suit if there is major damage.
Developed in partnership with Uncommon Creative Studio, the campaign’s marketing materials highlight confidence-building for men seeking jobs, which is promoted in a YouTube video portraying men speaking on the phones with their mothers, who offer them encouraging words on their way to interviews. Renters can book their suit online on H&M’s ONE/SECOND/SUIT website, which also offers five tips on how to best prepare for and navigate job interviews. The website reads, “A suit isn’t an outfit. It’s confidence. A signal to the world and a reminder to yourself you’ve got what it takes.”
The suit rental service is part of a larger effort on H&M’s behalf known as its Conscious Collection, which launched in 2012 and features products that are made of at least 50-percent sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester, with plans to use only sustainably-sourced materials by 2030. Rental subscription services, in general, are also something that’s been adopted by many other major apparel retailers, such as Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, American Eagle, Bloomingdale’s and Banana Republic, showing that H&M is essentially just “following suit.”
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.