Sustainable Retail Concepts in London & NYC: February 2020
Responsible retailers continue to strive towards more sustainable practices this month, via a host of new brand spaces in London and New York. From department stores relishing rental and resales, to carbon-neutral store design and a ‘wellness’ concept where eco equates to contentment, we deliver the lowdown.
Covetable Rental: British department store Selfridges’ London flagship has joined the ranks of rental enthusiasts with its first fashion rental pop-up – a six-month initiative with UK peer-to-peer site Hurr Collective. The luxe-looking, traditionally feminine space (pink walls, marble tables, elegant copper clothing racks) has 200 garments, changing weekly, which can be rented from £40 ($52) per week. An interactive mirror explains the service and displays the 10 most rented items in real time.
Relishing Resales: US department store Nordstrom’s See You Tomorrow area in its NY flagship is dedicated to selling discounted worn and returned items from all departments. Also online, it’s managed by US white-label resales service Trove, previously knownas Yerdle, which uses an AI-enabled system to record brand and condition, and determine resale price. Shoppers ‘donating’ items receive a Nordstrom gift card for an (as yet undisclosed) percentage of the resale price. See also Maximising Resales, New Tools & Tactics and Cohorts & Communities.
Perks of Repair: LA-headquartered luxury shoe brand Tamara Mellon’s second US boutique (in New York) includes cobbling within its two-year, all purchases repair guarantee – equating to free heel, tip and hardware replacements and scuff cleaning. See also Aftercare Commerce.
Carbon-Neutral Clubhouse: Currently in the process of cementing its UK presence, US footwear brand Allbirds has opened a carbon-neutral store in London. Internal metrics monitor trans-departmental impact, allowing the company to offset damage. It also only uses digital receipts.
Reworking Wellness: Following the 2013 Bangladesh factory collapse, Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark continues to reboot its ethical credentials with a 1,500 sq ft pop-up promoting its ‘wellness’ collection in east London pop-up mall Boxpark. Produced using recycled or sustainable materials, the range is centred on “comfort, rest and reflection”.