H&M Takes Performance Wear Outdoors

H&M keeps exploring new directions with H&M Move, its line of exercise gear launched last year.

The Swedish retailer intends to “democratize” outdoor performance wear with the new collection, a category often distinguished by highly technical fabrics, all-weather finishes and pricey logos. And the retailer is constructing the new line using many recycled materials. Three different materials -- StormMove, ThermoMove, and DryMove – all make an appearance in multiple layers. H&M says all three add performance, durability, functionality, affordability -- and some style.

To prove that to consumers, the fast-fashion leader brought in outside verification. For example, H&M Move’s StormMove 3-Layer Shell Jacket proved itself in the wear test labs of Progressive Sports, an independent sports consultancy. That group rated the jacket, priced at $199, for breathability, waterproofness, thermoregulation and functionality. The H&M scored as well as outdoor market leaders.



Similar jackets might cost $400 at the North Face or $700 at Patagonia.

"While pieces are constructed to protect against the elements and are adjustable to weather conditions and body temperature, they can easily double as everyday streetwear as well," said Mfon Boman, H&M Move's outdoor product manager, in the announcement. 

H&M also announced a new range of vegan cosmetics with reimagined formulas and packaging. It plans to launch the line globally next month with a campaign called "Make Up Stories,” working with renowned makeup artist Raoúl Alejandre. And H&M promises more cosmetics introductions next year.

The expanding product lines come as H&M continues to feel pressure from rivals. It recently posted a quarterly sales gain of 6%, although it described results as “flattish” in local currencies.

Inditex, the Spanish company that owns Zara, continues to gain speed. That retailer just posted a quarterly sales gain of 14% as it widened its lead over H&M.

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