We’re back and better than ever, with our first ever special edition of InsighTCC!
This time we’re talking all about eco-efforts, sustainability stories and green gossip. From being environmental during a pandemic, how to approach store design with the world in mind, and keeping your brand accountable.
So, grab your reusable water bottle and shiny metal straw, sit back and get ready to read all about sustainable news and views in the world of retail and beyond!
Sustainability during a pandemic
Over the last year, it’s proved especially difficult to be sustainable, given all of the single use plastic necessary to fight a pandemic…PPE, disposable gloves, masks etc. BUT businesses like Marie Bee Bloom have proved that (with a little bit of creativity and dedication) it’s possible. They’ve developed 100% biodegradable masks which contain flower seeds. The masks themselves are made from rice paper and they’re embedded with a meadow mix including asters, cornflower, coreopsis, gilia, gypsophila and dill to help out our buzzy bee friends too. Win win!
Green store design
Now that retail is opening back up, we can consider in earnest how these spaces can be fundamentally more green. Take IKEA; their Greenwich store is now covered with 75% solar panels to power the store, rainwater is harvested to help reduce the store’s water consumption by 50%, and their 100% LED lighting and textile recycling make it the most sustainable retail store in the UK. But there’s more than one way to go about it, in fact, there’s dozens. Bottletop have created the world’s first 3D printed store using robots and upcycled plastic. In tandem with their reworked rubber tyre floor, their store is 100% zero waste.
Spread the word
There’s no need to keep your sustainable design a secret either. At Lush’s recently re-opened flagship Oxford Street store, the social team have chosen to show off its new fit out in great detail. And rather than focus on product alone, the team are showcasing how the fittings are manufactured and sourced, bought and supplied, which all speak to the brand’s sustainable and ethical values. Providing this amount of visibility will give their customers confidence in their brand and cultural proposition, as well as another reason to visit.
H&M have gone as far as making their sustainability a showcase piece in store with the world’s first in-store recycling system at their store in Stockholm. In just eight steps the customers can see their old clothes transformed into something new right in front of their eyes. The Looop system shreds the old garment and knits a new one from the old fibres. No water, no dye. The only thing added is some sustainably sourced material to strengthen the yarn.
Outside the eco-box
It’s not all about recycling and renewables either. The Selfridges rooftop is now home to 100,000 bees and there’s even a honey-themed restaurant, Hive, located in the department store. As well as making delicious honey, the bees will bring lots of environmental benefits to the Quarter as they pollinate in a 3-mile radius, reaching all the way to Hyde Park in the process!
Sustainability is more than just environmental too. The notion of a sustainable world is one where we all thrive together. That’s why companies like TOMS, Leesa, and Uncommon Goods have all made purposeful donations part of their business model. For every one pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donate one pair to charity, while Leesa donate one mattress for every 10 sold, and Uncommon Good donate $1 for every purchase to a charity of the customer’s choice! Initiatives like this make a meaningful difference and hugely impact brand perception and loyalty.
Every little helps
Plus, there’s plenty brands can do behind the scenes too. Over 3,000 other organisations in more than 45 countries have committed to donating revenue, not just ‘profit’, to deliver good environmental outcomes. As a result, ‘1% for the Planet’ members have given back more than $270 million to the environment. KeepCup are fantastic example of a brand with a sustainable product focus who have also committed to donating at least 1% of their global revenue to environmental causes. Putting their money where their mouth is.
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. Brands that sign up, like The Body Shop and Innocent are subsequently legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They describe themselves as a ‘community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good’ and it’s a fantastic way for like-minded business to keep themselves accountable for their actions.
Our new chapter
Here at TCC, every step forward we take, we’re doing so with sustainability at the forefront of our mind. So, even though our most recent expansion saw us land in The Big Smoke for the first time, our new office space actually makes us more sustainable than ever. Fora, our vibrant new office space, are working towards net zero carbon by 2030, by using 100% renewable energy, supporting cycle to work schemes, offering an extensive recycling programme, and working with Trees For Cities to help plant thousands of urban trees a year!
Written by Daisy Sollis
June 16, 2021