Will custom-made jeans become the future of fast fashion? It’s possible, says Weekday, the Swedish denim and fashion brand owned by the H&M Group.
The youth-driven brand recently announced that it has begun to pilot custom-made jeans through H&M Group’s innovation hub, The Laboratory.
For the pilot, Weekday and The Laboratory invited 100 customers to trial the technology in order to gather important insights before launching on a bigger scale. Customers agreed to have undergo body scanning and were offered a selection of customization options to design their perfect pair of jeans.
To achieve this, H&M Group partnered with Unspun, which has created an algorithm that converts the body scan into a paper pattern and measurement list that is production ready. Over the past 18 months, The Laboratory has been developing the algorithm on Weekday denim products alongside Unspun to ensure it becomes increasingly accurate over time.
Following the scan, the jeans were produced as unique items in H&M’s partner factories, which takes 10 days from customer scan and customizing to delivery. Customers then came back for a fitting, where they could try on their custom jeans and give feedback on fit, comfort, quality and value.
The goal of the pilot, the brand stated, was to achieve a customer satisfaction rate of 65 percent. The trial exceeded expectations, however, and at the end 80 percent of the customers were “very pleased” with their jeans, Weekday stated.
“We always have our customers at the heart of everything we do, so the purpose of this pilot was both to understand what they want from a custom-made denim product, what they think about the new experience and to test the readiness of the technologies,” Lauren Coppen, sustainable and circular business developer at The Laboratory, said. “The pilot enabled us to gain invaluable insights that we simply couldn’t get from just testing internally.”
The concept was initiated in an effort to address two of the biggest pain points for customers: size and fit. And for Weekday, it provides a solution for better inventory control and less waste. Customized product is one sustainable business model said to be under review by H&M Group, which said it is “where we see a great advantage for our business in the long term by reducing returns and excess products and only produce just what our customers want.”
Weekday’s goal is to bring the customization service to retail stores at an affordable price.
“I’m an optimist but I had some skepticism on how all the pieces of the puzzle of this model would fit together as we go live,” Coppen added. “Therefore, I’m really happy to see that the result outperformed our expectations. Due to the positive result, we will scale the pilot to an in-store experience. We will likely have more styles and other features based on the customers’ feedback.”