Fast Fashion is Coming for Cycling w/ Collections from Zara and H&M
Perhaps a sign of the growing popularity of cycling, you can now find cycling-specific clothing at some of the world’s biggest ‘fast fashion’ brands. Fast fashion has been a popular topic of conversation recently as the world grapples with the environmental impact of its production and waste. As a result of global pressure and new EU regulations, some of the largest retailers like H&M and Zara have been forced to increase their sustainability goals to use more recycled and sustainable fibers.
Meanwhile, it seems that both brands have also decided to make a push into more sport-focused clothing including cycling. True to the fast fashion playbook, the pieces are fairly affordable compared to a lot of cycling clothing, and they look… not bad? Zara has been at this for a few years now, but unlike the collection Zara launched in collaboration with Fizik in 2022, there does not appear to be any conneciton for the latest clothing. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any women’s cycling clothing at all currently on the Zara website.
H&M on the other hand has both men’s and women’s pieces, with more inclusive sizing – XS-3XL for men, and XS-XXL for women. The H&M DryMove collection includes full kits for men and women, though only the men get bib shorts. There are also more casual pieces like the DryMove Cycling T-Shirt and Water Replellent Bike Shorts.
It’s also interesting to see the attempt at transparency from H&M in their Materials & Suppliers section for each garment. It seems to suggest that there is recycles polyester used to create the garments, and while they tell you exactly what percentage is polyester, there is no information to the percentage of recycles polyester, if any. You can also click on the supplier information to see that the textiles for these pieces come from the Chisage Apparel Group in China.
Pricing is similar for both brands with cycling bib shorts selling for $99, and jerseys for $60-65, though much of the H&M clothing is already on deep discount. Is it any good? Will it acutally last? Is this a good thing for cycling? That remains to be seen.