• The project saw 100 customers invited to trial the technology in order to gather important insights before launching on a bigger scale. 
  • Customers were body-scanned and offered a selection of customisation options to design their perfect pair of jeans.
H&M says the result of the pilot "outperformed the expectations"

H&M says the result of the pilot "outperformed the expectations"

Swedish apparel giant Hennes & Mauritz Group (H&M) has tested the viability of custom-made jeans for its Weekday brand as it works to tackle business challenges including reducing returns and excess products, and only making what customers want.

H&M Group and its innovation arm The Laboratory, partnered with Unspun, an on-demand apparel company that uses 3D scanning and fit algorithms to generate digital consumer sizing.

The firm has created an algorithm for a "perfect fit" which converts a body scan into a paper pattern and measurement list that is production-ready. Over the last 18 months The Laboratory has been developing the algorithm on Weekday denim products alongside Unspun to ensure it becomes increasingly accurate over time.

The pilot saw 100 customers invited to trial the technology in order to gather important insights before launching on a bigger scale. Customers were body-scanned and offered a selection of customisation options to design their perfect pair of jeans.

The jeans were produced as unique items in H&M partner factories, which took ten days from customer scan and customising to delivery, before customers returned to try on the customised jeans and provide feedback.

H&M has hailed the success of the pilot which found 80% of customers were "very pleased" with their jeans, better than the 60% target rate. 

"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. The pilot enabled us to gain invaluable insights that we simply couldn't get from just testing internally," says Laura Coppen, sustainable and circular business developer at The Laboratory.

The Laboratory will now scale the pilot to an in-store experience, with Coppen adding: "We will likely have more styles and other features based on the customers' feedback."