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  • Writer's pictureLiam Mcsherry

3 eye catching sustainable retail initiatives to look out for

There is a growing number of brands and retailers demonstrating that sustainability can be a great opportunity to be creative and communicate their company’s eco friendly philosophy. There are plenty of examples to choose from but here are three that really appeal.

Ace & Tate x Plasticiet

Ace & Tate are an interesting company with a refreshing approach to eyewear. The Dutch specs brand brings the same innovative attitude to its high street stores. When I visited their Soho branch a few years ago, I was impressed by the store design, the clear and simple approach to choosing frames, keen pricing and ease of booking an optician appointment. 

Earlier this year, Ace & Tate opened a new outlet in Antwerp. In partnership with local design duo Plasticiet, A&T have kitted out the store interior with displays made of locally sourced recycled materials. Set up by two product designers, Plasticiet developed a process to convert large amounts of locally sourced waste plastic into sustainable material. The aesthetic is pleasing, initiative creative and in line the company’s 2020 goals to use sustainable materials.

While a visit to your local store may be unlikely for the foreseeable future, you can always try their virtual ‘try on’ app and work on some new looks :)


“In order to be sustainable,

the first thing to do is nothing”

French footwear brand Veja sustainable philosophy is very much reflected by their latest flagship stores in New York & Paris. In a recent interview with Glossy Magazine, Sébastien Kopp, Veja co-founder shared his thoughts on sustainability and how it has informed their approach to the physical retail space.

(Veja, New York flagship store)

With next to no redecoration (using what was there when they took over the sites), minimal display and running on 100% renewable energy, the stores keep it simple with the focus on the products as well as reinforcing the company’s ethos. 


IKEA eco store, Vienna

On track to be the first inner city IKEA store, Quer kraft, the architects behind the eco store have designed a space with sustainability and the local community in mind.

No method is more effective than the good example. Ingvar Kamprad

Echoing the words of the founder, the store will be packed full of mindful features including a roof-top garden accessible to people outside of store opening hours, no car park or car access to reduce traffic and minimise the impact on air quality, lots of trees (judging by the design images available on their website) and overall design for a building that can be applied to other business types easily should IKEA leave the premises in future. 

The project sounds a very considerate and refreshing approach to retail, and I hope to see it first-hand sometime in 2021.


All of these projects work because the brand has been true to their sustainable objectives and allowed it to inform their approach to retail. It doesn’t have to be boring and these few examples show that there is plenty of scope for creativity, being green and supporting local initiatives.


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