As of Wednesday and running through Sept. 5, the two companies are teaming up for an activation for consumers to experience “The Style Cabin” and “The Upcycler” in Camp’s Columbus Circle store. The initiative is inspired by H&M’s children’s products, (which can be found a short walk away in the multilevel H&M store in the same shopping center) and its sustainability efforts. The initiative will offer families the chance to upcycle materials into toys and accessories in “The Style Cabin.”
The repurposed goods will be made from H&M totes or their own apparel that they bring in themselves. They can also put “The Upcycler,” a pedal-powered station that uses kinetic energy. By pedaling, participants will accrue mileage that will be tallied in support of donations to Project Learning Tree. Aside from housing the installation in a non-H&M location, there won’t be any H&M merchandise sold there either.
With its base of family customers growing, the retail chain was looking to do something fun to build upon that and summer seemed to be prime time, H&M’s head of communications for the Americas Lauren Riezman said Monday. Camp, which specializes in experiential retail for families, fit the bill. The alliance with another children’s retailer in the U.S. was a first for H&M in the U.S.
Declining to address how the activation could generate sales, interest in the brand or any goals to quantify the endeavor, she said, “It’s more so about education and engagement with customers than commerciality. We’re not selling product on-site.”
That said, while it’s not a secret that an H&M store is nearby, the company is trying to play up the engagement element and sustainability message, she said. As for fast fashion’s environmental impact and the massive volume of products made by H&M annually, the retailer hit a milestone last year of reaching 80 percent of sustainability sourced materials for the global assortment and aims to reach 100 percent by 2030, Riezman said. The company is also trying to become 100 percent climate positive by 2040, she added.
Undeniably social media friendly, the two activity attractions were much more about creating an in-person tangible experience for visitors to the Columbus Circle location, Riezman said. “Counselors” will be there to help children create something new in “The Style Cabin,” in order that they can see, feel and touch sustainability. And “The Upcycler” will give riders the chance to watch on a screen their bike’s progress versus another one with the objective being that everyone is working toward a collective goal — donating to Project Learning Tree, an organization that helps students develop an appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the environment, Riezman said.
Asked if H&M will be teaming up with different retailers for other installations, the focus is on this initiative and its reception. The word-of-mouth metrics and physical attendance will be used as key barometers to measure the success of the activation. Riezman declined to share any specific figures.