WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The famous British department store wants to encourage a more sustainable way of consuming, by offering repairs, rentals and pre-loved pieces.
Selfridges London store fronts the new Project Earth initiative. Image courtesy of Selfridges.
If you walk around London’s Oxford Street, you might notice a giant sign all across the historic Selfridges building that reads “Let’s Change the Way We Shop.”
It marks the debut of the department store’s new Project Earth, one of the company’s biggest initiatives that aims to encourage luxury consumers to think about shopping in new, more conscious ways.
What does this mean?
It can take many different interpretations: For one, if you stain your satin Manolo ‘Lurums’ on a night out, you can think about heading to luxury repair service The Restory, which as of this week has a permanent home in Selfridges, to get them re-dyed in a different color instead of buying a new pair. This service is also available in the Trafford and Birmingham stores.
It can also mean renting a cocktail dress instead of buying it if you just need it for a one-off event. Selfridges has also seen to that and will now offer a permanent rental collection of coveted pieces like Cecilie Bahnsen puff-sleeve dresses or The Attico feather tops, curated in partnership with the rental business Hurr.
When it comes to buying new items, conscious shopping also means prioritizing sustainable brands, as well as second-hand or vintage items, instead of always chasing the new.
As part of Project Earth, Selfridges is broadening its offer of sustainable labels and asking all its existing brand partners from Prada, to Givenchy and Burberry, more questions about the kind of materials they use and their overall sustainability policies.
The ultimate aim? To “help you make better choices” with their edits and to ensure that by 2025 the majority of the products it sells come from sustainable, certified sources.
Brands in the new ‘Conscious’ edit run across all categories and price points – and include some much-loved styles: Think Hunza G swimisuits; neon-hued active wear by The Girlfriend Collective made out of recycled plastic bottles; statement tops made by hand by Edinburgh based designer Olivia Rose; or easy-going floral summer dresses by contemporary labels like Ganni, Faithfull The Brand and Kitri.
SHOP OUR TOP PICS FROM PROJECT EARTH
When it comes to the shoe department, the edit is small – footwear is one of the most complicated fashion items to produce, making sustainable production twice as hard to achieve – yet filled with exciting choices.
First and foremost there’s Prada’s Re-Nylon capsule, an eco-friendly, modern-day answer to the label’s famous nylon range from the Nineties, recreated with a new type of recycled nylon dubbed Econyl.
The range – available online and in a special pop-up inside Selfridges – features low-top logo sneakers in black-and-white, as well as new iterations of the infamous Monolith combat boot in recycled nylon mixed with gabardine and leather materials.
There’s also plenty of sneakers in the store’s sustainability edit, including monochrome styles by Veja – one of the wardrobe staples everyone should turn to when looking for sneakers – and Yatay, a vegan sneaker brand who plants a tree towards every sold pair.
Vestiaire Collective also has its own space within Selfridges, offering an edit of trendy second-hand clothing and accessories pieces, including shoes from up-and-coming designers like Dorateymur.
The pandemic has changed everybody’s thinking forever. We firmly believe evolving the way we do business and supporting change in the way people shop is essential to building a more sustainable business. Selfridges has the platform to change how shopping is done wrapped in the destinations, experiences and inspiration customers want from us,” said Anna Pitcher, Selfridges’ group managing director.
SHOP SHOES PART OF PROJECT EARTH
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