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Stronger together for a better world: despite social distancing, the coronavirus crisis has brought society closer together. Solidarity and cooperation are becoming important values of the new ways of doing business and consuming. And the sharing economy principle is more relevant than ever before. Global Fashion Exchange and Nudie Jeans are showing what change can look like – and even the H&M Group is dipping its toe in the second-hand clothing market.

June 2020

The coronavirus crisis has fundamentally changed society, the economy and culture. Values are shifting. Closeness, trust and solidarity are becoming the new benchmarks. This will also have repercussions on retail and consumerism in the future: not at the expense of others, but together with others. Consumption with a conscience and owning less – these are principles that form the foundation of the so-called sharing economy.

And the concept is also gaining ground in the fashion industry. Renting clothes, repairing jeans, the circular production of T-shirts: what these different business models all have in common is a new way of adding value and extending the product lifecycle. Consumers are ready to try something new – shared economy experts Nudie Jeans, Global Fashion Exchange and the H&M Group were all in agreement of this on the Fashionsustain stage in January 2020. And the figures are proving them right: by 2023, the global online rental market for clothing is expected to reach a value of almost 1.9 billion US dollars – or at least that was the pre-pandemic prognosis1.

The H&M Group recognised this potential in 2015 and invested in the Swedish re-commerce platform Sellpy. In autumn 2019, H&M became the majority shareholder of the successful second-hand platform and is planning to expand into the German market in 2020. “We have a big responsibility to inform and communicate – but also to provide convenient and suitable solutions for our customers so they can consume more sustainably,” says Sara Eriksson, Strategy Lead for Sustainable & Circular Business Development at the H&M Group.

Communicate and educate – these are also the goals of the Global Fashion Exchange platform. What began with a clothing swap event in Copenhagen is meanwhile a global movement with over 250 ambassadors, who educate people on the environmental effects of the textile industry and how to avoid wasting resources. “But we do it in a way that is fun and exciting,” emphasises founder Patrick Duffy. 

A special highlight at the previous edition of Neonyt in January was the Mobile Repair Station of sustainable label Nudie Jeans. As pioneers of the shared economy, their vision is to become the most sustainable denim brand in the world. And they are clearly on the right path: in 2018, the young Swedish company managed to repair 55,000 pairs and sell 10,500 used pairs of jeans.

For a functioning sharing economy, everyone needs to work together. Solidarity and cooperation, sharing knowledge and resources: the step towards a confident ‘we culture’ has been accelerated by the current crisis. For its summer 2020 edition with a difference, Neonyt is also focusing on collaboration and therefore on the expertise of well-known industry partners The Brand Show Circular and Joor. This gives Neonyt exhibitors the opportunity to position themselves in an international order context – despite travel restrictions and social distancing. True to the motto of Neonyt exhibitor Lana: “Stronger together for a better world”.

Find out more here:


Shoaib Iqbal (2017): “Online Clothing Rental Market by End-Users and Clothing Style – Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023”


  • Sustainability
  • Trade Show