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business Editor's pick Retail sustainability technology

9 brands pushing sustainable store design

With sustainability an increasing priority on the agenda for fashion and retail businesses around the globe today, attention is also turning to their brick-and-mortar stores – how they’re resourced, designed and constructed. 

According to Schneider Electric, retail buildings are the largest consumers of energy among non-residential buildings in Europe, contributing $20 billion each year. Factors such as electricity, air conditioning and lighting all contribute to a brand’s carbon footprint and emissions. 

The interesting thing is that going green is proven to not only help retailers reduce their impact on the planet, but significantly save them money. A 20% cut in energy costs can represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales, according to Carbon Trust. 

Investing in sustainable store design, therefore, has a positive effect on profit, people and the planet. From locally-sourced materials, to energy saving light bulbs, and even the removal of any plastic packaging, there is an incredibly wide range of ways retailers can make their stores more environmentally friendly. 

Here we highlight some of the best examples of brands going above and beyond with their stores in order to do so: 

Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney London flagship store

Last year Stella McCartney opened a new flagship store in London that expands four floors and embodies sustainability throughout. The outposts of the store are lined with recycled foam and card that were made from waste paper from the London offices. The space is also the first to use biodegradable mannequins,  made from 72% sugarcane bioplastic, which significantly reduces CO2 emissions. To help combat air pollution, the store has a hidden ventilation systems that removes 95% of air pollutants and harmful gases, such as nitrogen dioxide. At launch, Stella herself said: “The store really tells the story of the world of Stella McCartney, seamlessly incorporating sustainability, fashion and luxury.”

Ikea
Inside Ikea’s Greenwich Store

Ikea opened a sustainable store in London’s Greenwich, built from a range of renewable materials in 2019. The roof is covered with 75% solar panels, which power the store, and rainwater is harvested to help reduce the store’s water consumption by 50%. The store not only helps the environment, but is also working towards improving the community around it. Ikea holds an array of classes such as bunting making, which utilizes off-cuts of IKEA fabric, helping spread the message of full utilization. The design of the store has been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM certification, which is the highest award for sustainable construction, covering areas such as energy, land use and materials. Efforts to incorporate geothermal heating, 100% LED lighting and textile recycling, have also elevated it to become the most sustainable retail store in the UK.

Patagonia
Patagonia Store in Victoria, Canada

Patagonia is not only leading the way with sustainability in manufacturing, but is going above and beyond with its store design strategy. Each outpost is uniquely designed to reflect the history and culture of its location, while simultaneously keeping the planet in mind. The Victoria store in Canada, which opened several years ago now, for instance, had three main goals when it was being designed: to use sustainable construction methods, utilize reclaimed materials and become the best retail space for outdoor activities in the area. It features a range of wooden details throughout, from wall decorations to shelving units, giving it a grounded earthy feel. The wood was wastage retrieved from the Pacific Ocean and leftover material from the local yacht club.

Country Road
Country Road store in Melbourne

Australian fashion retailer Country Road opened its flagship store in Melbourne this summer also with sustainability in mind. The space is made from recycled materials such as yoghurt containers, fishing nets and recycled paper. It is the first to receive a 5-star Green Design review from the Green Building Council of Australia. It also includes details like fitting room hooks that have been made using ocean plastic and tables from recycled plastic. The brand hopes this store design will be the first of many, as it continues to expand in the country.

Starbucks
Starbucks sustainable store design

Starbucks is leading the way in the coffee sphere by building LEED-certified stores, which stands for ‘leadership in energy and environmental design’. These green stores use LED lighting, recycled flooring tiles and wood products that are certified by the Forest Stewardship council. They are 25% more energy efficient and 30% more water efficient. In countries with solar and wind projects, the stores are run on   100% renewable energy. Starbucks already has 1,612 LEED-certified stores, but is intending to extend the framework to 10,000 by 2025, which could save $50m in utility costs over the next 10 years alongside reducing impact on the planet.

Bottletop
Bottletop’s London store

Sustainable accessories brand, Bottletop, opened the world’s first 3D printed store, created by robots using upcycled plastic, in London. Based on Regent Street, it is zero waste and home to the brand’s sustainable handcrafted collection of leather goods. The space embodies the company’s core mission to empower people through sustainable design and creative culture. The flooring of the store is made from reworked rubber tyres and the interior is made from 60,000 upcycled plastic bottles. Overall, the store aims to re-imagine the future of ecologically responsible construction through zero waste design.

Ganni
Ganni store

Danish fashion brand Ganni recently opened its new London store following a number of doors in Copenhagen and Stockholm. While it features bubblegum pink walls fit for every Instagrammer’s dream, it is also underpinned with a green strategy in mind. The store incorporates  sustainable features such as recycled plastic displays made from old plastic bottles, plant pots, food packaging and coffee grounds. Decorations throughout are either vintage pieces or upcycled products, including rugs that have been remade from old Ganni collections. The company also uses renewable energy across all of its stores, with the aim to have 100% green sources by the end of 2019. 

Lush
Lush’s plastic free products

As one of the sustainability leaders in beauty, Lush recently stepped up its game by stripping back several of its stores in Berlin, Milan and Manchester, in a bid to go entirely plastic free. The ‘Naked’ stores, as they’re called, are part of the brand’s initiative to tackle the plastic waste problem in the cosmetic industry. They all feature products like the brand’s solid shampoos, which don’t necessitate any packaging. Each of them further serve as an open space for NGOs and activist groups to educate and increase consumer awareness on the topics of zero waste and ocean plastics.

Reformation
Reformation store

Cult fashion brand Reformation puts sustainability at the core of everything it does, from local manufacturing and sustainable dyeing to green buildings and fabrics. Its Los Angeles stores and headquarters are all Green Business certified, meaning they implement strategies to save energy, improve water efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Reformation offsets its store build by 100%, by calculating the construction footprint. The materials in store are also sustainable with LED fixtures,  recycled fabric insulations and natural rammed earth materials.

How are you thinking about sustainable innovations? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Each of the rules referenced above is matched by one of our products and services. Interested in how? Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick product

These Adidas sneakers double as transport passes in Berlin

adidas BVG sneakers collaboration metro tickets
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneaker

Adidas collaborated with Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin’s transport company, to create a limited edition collection of 500 pairs of shoes fitted with a season ticket worth €730.

The EQT Support 93/Berlin shoe, as it’s called, uses the same camouflage pattern used on the city’s train seats. Embedded in the tongue is a fabric version of the BVG annual ticket, which can be used as a regular ticket covering the bus, tram and underground in zones A and B.

The shoe, which is now sold out, retailed for €180, therefore attracting a mix of sneaker heads and those seeking a commuting bargain by saving significant money off their €730 annual travel pass.

adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers train ticket BVG berlin collaboration
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers

The launch aimed to modernize BVG’s 90-year-old image, and also tapped into a wider trend of fashionable labels elevating traditionally uncool companies, such as Vetements’ recent collaboration with DHL.

The design was launched in January at Overkill, a shoe store in Berlin’s hipster Kreuzberg neighbourhood. Fans queueing outside were treated to Mettbrötchen, a minced raw pork on a bread roll, which is a decidedly untrendy breakfast that Overkill owner Julian Kalitta described as something you would imagine the city’s tram drivers eating before work.

adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers
adidas EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers

Categories
Editor's pick technology

Berlin designer showcases new collection on 3D-printed mannequins

michaelmichalsky

3D printing has taken off in recent years, with yearly shows dedicated to the technology taking place in countries ranging from the US to Israel, Turkey and Argentina, not to mention numerous advances consistently being applied to the fashion industry. This week it was the turn of designer Micheal Michalsky, who opted to showcase his new couture line on miniature 3D-printed mannequins during Mercedes-Benz Fashion week Berlin.

The “Reality” exhibition features 15 3D-printed dolls adorned in the German designer’s most recent looks. Each life-like figure is only a foot in height, and reminiscent of 17th century miniature fashion mannequins that couturiers would use to sell their designs to various royal courts and clients around the world, reports 3ders.org.

berlin-fashion-week-debuts-michael-michalskys-3d-printed-lifelike-mini-mannequins-6

Michalsky is well know for being adidas’ creative director from 1995 to 2006, as well as providing fashion week in Berlin with big red carpet openings and events in collaboration with stars such as Lady Gaga and Marina and the Diamonds. More recently he became the creative expert at Düsseldorf based 3D printing tech company, Doob Group AG, which specialises in 3D scanning and the manufacturing of these 3D-printed figurines (frequently done as selfies and affectionately known as “Doobs”).

On the collaboration, he said: “Printing in 3D is a future technology, which already has influences fashion and will carry weight more and more in future [sic]. This is what fascinates me and I’m really excited about working together. I love and accept the challenge to merge technology with innovation and design and to relaunch the company’s optical appearance in public.”

A 3D-printed selfie of the designer does indeed stand at the head of his exhibition looking over his collection. You can catch it until January 29 at the Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery in Berlin.

berlin-fashion-week-debuts-michael-michalskys-3d-printed-lifelike-mini-mannequins-7

Categories
Editor's pick film

Mercedes-Benz proves a puppet assistant is the next big thing in fashion

MercedesBenz_petitmichel

It’s always good to see fashion not taking itself too seriously. This time, it’s the turn of Mercedes-Benz with the help of sound designer Michel Gaubert and his puppet assistant Petit Michel.

In an amusing short film – the latest in the automotive brand’s Fashion Creatives series – the relationship between the two characters is explored. Initially it’s about sabotage on the part of the puppet, and embarrassment for Gaubert, before it emerges that Petit Michel is in fact equally a genius on-hand to help Gaubert win some of his biggest gigs. For reference, those gigs span the fashion show soundtracks of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Fendi, through to Raf Simons, Jonathan Anderson, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Jeremy Scott and Celine.

As a reward, Petit Michel is off to Mercedes-Ben Fashion Week Berlin in Gaubert’s place. He also gets read a soppy poem and given a rocket badge. The duo cruise around in a Mercedes-Benz 1970 280SEL throughout.

The spot was written and directed by Los Angeles-based director Toben Seymour. The puppeteer for Petit Michel was Viktor Yerrid, who works for the Jim Henson Company and has performed Muppet characters in many TV shows, movies and TV commercials.

Image credit: Shelby Duncan

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e-commerce Uncategorized

Net-a-Porter launches Karl line with pop-up window shops worldwide

Net-a-Porter returned to its virtual window shop concept to launch the new Karl by Karl Lagerfeld collection in several cities around the world today.

First previewed at Fashion’s Night Out in September 2011, the augmented-reality storefronts allowed customers to shop the collection by scanning products with their iPads or iPhones. In doing so, they were also in with the chance of winning various prizes from the luxury retailer.

The pop-up windows were on show in London, New York, Berlin and Sydney, as well as in Paris where Lagerfeld himself was in attendance. He told reporters: “We are making fashion and technology history.”

The 70-piece collection launched exclusively online at 10.30am EST worldwide; following which numerous pieces quickly sold out.

The site also hosts a huge variety of Karl-themed content, not to mention what can only be referred to as a Google Doodle-inspired logo, featuring Lagerfeld’s silhouette in place of the “a” in Net-a-Porter…