H&M and Lyft on Tuesday said they’re teaming up to provide free rides to New Yorkers to H&M stores for its Garment Collecting program.
The first 5,000 customers who use the promo code HMRECYCLES from Jan. 22 to Jan. 27 will get a free Lyft ride worth up to $10 to any H&M location in the city, according to a press release from the companies. They also get a discount toward any new items purchased.
The initiative follows Lyft’s similar tie-up with Old Navy for free round-trip rides to pick up online orders at its stores in the waning days of the holiday season.
H&M and Lyft are both emphasizing their dedication to sustainability, a growing concern among younger consumers, but there's plenty in it for them too.
The Swedish fast-fashion retailer, which for years faced criticism for destroying piles of unsold garments, in 2013 launched its Garment Collecting program and has since acquired 163 million pounds of textiles globally, according to the release. For its part, Lyft said that last year it "committed to full carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy by offsetting the carbon emissions from all Lyft rides, meaning every Lyft ride in NYC is carbon-neutral."
It's hard to know how much of a dent these moves make when it comes to the environment or climate change. It's pretty easy, however, for H&M to know the lift it will get from this marketing play, a promotion that Eddie Yoon, founder of Eddie Would Grow, a think tank and growth strategy advisory firm, says is a measurable effort with multiple advantages. The disruption of "new category creators" like Uber and Lyft is coming in waves — the first was disrupting taxi rides and the second last-mile delivery. Now it's "redefining omnichannel and comes full circle, letting people ship goods and people back to places, specifically retailers like the H&M/Lyft partnership to help them recycle clothing," he said.
With this partnership, H&M accrues three things at once — sustainability-based effort customers are witness to, valuable data from the rides and "stimulating demand in an organic, consumer driven fashion," according to Yoon.
"With Lyft, H&M knows precisely how many trips to the store it drives for precisely $10 or less. When marketing's ROI is clearly defined like this, CFOs are much more apt to loosen the purse strings. Expect to see traditional marketing [investment] shift to tactics like this," he told Retail Dive in an email, adding that the tie to recycling adds yet more strength. "Recycling old clothes requires some engagement. Clothing superconsumers are naturally extra engaged in their clothing. Non superconsumers don't think about their clothing until they have to. Recycling is a natural way to catalyze engagement and unlock latent demand."
It's no surprise that Lyft found another retail partner so soon after its experiment with Old Navy last month, Yoon also said. "Uber/Lyft are a great way to close the last mile in delivery for retailers without having to build out their own internal infrastructure," he said. "Expect to see more and more of these initiatives."