When one thinks of H&M, what comes to mind?
Affordable clothing? A Swedish version of Target x Gap in terms of price/look/feel? Just another “fashion” brand pumping out clothing that no one really needs. . . by the boatload?
Enter Singular Society, H&M Group’s push toward sustainability. The members-only brand provides “life essentials at the price of what they cost to make,” according to the online publication, Fashion Network. The beginners’ model starts @ €9.50/mo. and members are granted five purchases on their down payment.
“At the price of what they cost to make.”
As a consumer, this strikes a long-desired chord. Household budgets are being stretched in unimaginable ways right now. Plus, anyone familiar with traditional consumer products knows that to get the unit economics right brands tend to “stack it high and watch it fly,” meaning overproduction is part of the game. Singular Society doesn’t play that game, instead ensuring brand evangelists that they’re getting the goods at cost and overproduction isn’t an issue. This is transparent to all and fearless.
Why is this important?
Because, looking at its website, Singular Society is brewing an elixir that’s one-part Etsy, one-part culturally hip, and another-part Crate & Barrel, with a dash of Amazon. There are elements of exclusivity, yet the consumer is struck with the desire to belong.
“We are in soft launch mode and accept new members as fast as we can handle. . .” which presents a level of intrigue that’s nearly intoxicating.
Looking at some items — coffee catches the eye, but after all, Singular Society is all about “life essentials.”
Look at the story behind its coffee — while this storytelling trend may be nothing new, this one brings connection to the consumer. Farm, farmer, taste notes, all complemented by descriptions, like “The coffee beans are grown under the shade of Avocado Trees,” that bridge a bond with members.
While Singular Society may hit the palate as another “stuffy” upstart, once digested, it’s truly the preface of what’s to become. Now, more than ever, we as humans are yearning for connection. Singular Society is laying down the threads of connection so consumers can weave their own web.
The company being in a soft-launch mode suggests Singular Society is prepared to evolve and potentially spin out a new economy. Brand metrics will shift, the obsession with consumer obsession will only thicken, and dollars will, in theory, begin to flow responsibly in-and-out of consumer pockets while at the same time promoting responsibly made products.
Whether it be politics and/or technology (along with many other variables), globalization has shifted. Politics and/or technology be damned, globalization is here to stay. So is the push for sustainable products and the move to subscription-based memberships.
Subscriptions, everybody’s doing it.
If the mall was legacy “cable” TV, Singular Society is the new Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Throw in some pro-earth/consumer-spending sustainability elements into the mix and we have a winner.
Pay attention to subscriptions in retail as brands begin to ebb-and-flow into unbundling into the digital world. Bundling partnerships that create a customer-friendly stack will be the real challenge. Consumer goods companies are under a microscope as loyalists choose to be so only after dissecting every nook-and-cranny of a brand. There’s no place to hide.
Singular Society has a leg-up on the competition due to its bold move into transparent waters.
Think this is just a PR play? Think again.
LVMH has recently launched its Life 360 environmental program, which has cut emissions by 25 percent since 2016 and has an improvement plan that’s drawn out until 2030. Looking further, Mr. Porter clientele can now scan a QR code on a product (dubbed CircularID Protocol) and receive “unique information, content, and services.”
This business mentality isn’t a stunt. It’s here to stay.
As for the evolution of Singular Society’s community, the basic membership allows one to purchase five items per month. And, what consumers will want to leave any of those five items on the table?
Singular Society members will feel the need to maximize their monthly allotment of goods, and, yet, no one will also need five lifestyle goods per month, so expect an avalanche of giving through programs like Singular Society. As we slowly begin to connect with mankind again, acts of kindness such as sending a stranger-in-need clothing/housewares will catch fire.
When we’re looking back at the biggest trends of 2021, look no further than what’s about to spawn out of Singular Society.