Sustainable Design and Retail News For November 2021

By Rebecca Freeman

Erda Home: Ecosophy sustainable organic linen bedding in white

Image Source: Bjorn Pierre

What’s happening in the world of sustainable design and retail? Here’s your latest news for shopping sustainably.

In light of sustainability efforts worldwide and increasing environmental concerns, sustainable shopping has been a hot topic in recent months. From consumer insights to new sustainable releases, Erda reports on the latest sustainable news in retail and design throughout the month of October 2021 and into November.

Sustainable shopping: consumers keen to shop sustainably over Christmas

Ahead of the ‘Golden Quarter’ for retail during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, new research suggests that UK consumers will shop with an eye toward sustainability. Marketing agency Tug reports that 67% of shoppers will pay attention to how sustainable brands are when buying over the festive period, as 81% of consumers have become more concerned with sustainability since the coronavirus pandemic. The report, published 19 October, also found that younger people are turning toward TikTok to find sustainable designs, while Millennials are using Instagram to source their sustainable recommendations.

UK consumer trends are also in-line with consumer sustainability worldwide. The Global Sustainability Study 2021, conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, recently found that globally, 85% of people report shifting their buying habits to becoming more sustainable in the last five years. The study surveyed more than 10,000 people across 17 countries, and found that sustainability is a key purchase point for 60% of consumers. A third of consumers would also be prepared to pay more for sustainable designs, willing to foot the bill on a 25% price increase for sustainable products on average. Across the globe, the study also observed a generational gap when shopping sustainably. Between age groups, Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to pay more for sustainable products when compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers.
These consumer trends suggest that companies face growing pressure to make sustainability a key priority when meeting growing consumer demands for sustainable shopping.

WRAP releases final report for the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 and six-month report for Textiles 2030

Last month, the charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published a final report for the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 (SCAP) and a six month progress report on new sustainable initiative Textiles 2030. SCAP, launched in 2012, aimed to reduce the climate impact of clothing in the UK, bringing together brands, charities and retailers to do so. Eight years on, SCAP’s final outcomes are mostly positive.
SCAP exceeded targets to reduce the carbon and water footprint of UK clothing, but failed to meet waste footprint and clothing waste targets, in part due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. By SCAP’s conclusion, the initiative’s signatories and supporters made up more than 48% of UK retail clothing sales.

Moving on from SCAP’s successes and shortcomings, WRAP launched the Textiles 2030 initiative in April 2021. Through this initiative, WRAP aims to build on SCAP and ‘collaborative climate action’ through a voluntary agreement that looks to move the fashion and textiles industry towards circularity. The Textiles 2030 Roadmap encourages and guides signatories on how to design for circularity, introduce circular business models and improved sustainable design through the sourcing of recycled fibres for new products.

Since April 2021, 92 signatories and affiliates have committed to Textiles 2030, including brands such as habitat, Dunelm Mill and Next. In just six months, these 92 signatories already outnumber the 90 supporters who were a part of SCAP. In addition to successes with recruitment, since April Textiles 2030 have focused on five key areas. These areas are Convening, Measurement, Knowledge, Innovation and Working with Citizens. Amongst Textile 2030’s achievements in these areas, WRAP launched a signatory communications platform for organisations to share information with one another, have begun work on an innovation strategy outlining how WRAP will convene innovation through Textiles 2030 and are looking into how signations can reach their customers through sustainable practices.

As of November 2021, Textiles 2030 signatories are continuing to measure the impact and circularity of their products while setting targets to reduce their carbon impact. Whilst there is a long way for brands and businesses to go, Textiles 2030 is continuing to push its signatories in a sustainable direction when designing and selling products.

Sustainable retail: Superdrug’s “most sustainable” store and Ikea’s ‘Sustainable Living Shops’

Shopping sustainably comes with the question of how retail spaces can be made sustainable too. With this in mind, health and beauty retailer Superdrug launched their first sustainably designed store in Peterborough’s Serpentine Green shopping centre last month. The store is decorated with fully recyclable signage and in-store graphics made from recycled yarn and plastic bottles, as well as ceiling tiles made from 100% recyclable materials. The store’s sustainable design is part of Superdrug’s efforts to better their environmental practices through Corporate Social Responsibility Pillars, which aim to deliver a comprehensive strategy for sourcing and selling sustainably.
In partnership with COP26, the Swedish homeware giant IKEA is launching new in-store Sustainable Living Shops that aim to make sustainability more accessible. These spaces will feature as a new section in IKEA’s UK stores, selling sustainable products while also encouraging customers to make sustainable change with eco-friendly tips and advice. IKEA’s shop-in-shop spaces will focus on five areas of action for sustainability that include using less energy and creating less waste. These spaces will promote sustainable living as affordable, as IKEA reported that over half of UK shoppers find sustainable products too expensive and are uncertain about how to live sustainably at home. This initiative comes after IKEA recently signed an ambition statement committing to the use of zero-emission shipping by 2040, alongside their continuing efforts to become more climate positive by 2030. 

Ikea's Sustainable Living Shops are opening up inside the existing UK stores

New sustainable designs: From Tekla’s new linen kitchenware line to Nkuku’s Christmas range

With Christmas around the corner, new sustainable designs are hitting the market. Among the new releases, Danish textile brand Tekla have come out with a new kitchen linen collection. Featuring glass towels and linen tablecloths, Tekla’s new range sets out to bring sustainable and ‘straightforward luxury’ to the kitchen space. With a vibrant colour palette of green Ducks Egg to burgundy Claret, Tekla’s new designs are made with 100% linen and inspired by what you might expect to see after a dinner party, bringing richness to ‘precious moments around the table.’ This new line also includes aprons, which are set to launch on 19 November.

Moving away from the kitchen, One Nine Eight Five have teased some new cushion designs launching soon. One Nine Eight Five, a sustainable British design studio founded and created by Eleanor Nadimi, gave a sneak peak on their Instagram page at some new cushion designs set to launch over the coming weeks. One Nine Eight Five’s caption suggests that these new cushions will launch in three different colour stories, of which are blue, pink and neutrals. These new designs come after One Nine Eight Five released a new velvet tassel cushion in the colour Jade and a new Rainer collection cushion, which is printed onto recycled cotton.
In time for the festive season, homeware brand Nkuku launched their Christmas range just over a week ago. Nkuku are an ethical brand founded by Ali and Alex that focuses on sustainability through the interconnection of economic, social and ecological processes. Their new extensive Christmas range offers baubles made from recycled glass, cotton stockings and handmade wreaths as well wine coolers for the Christmas dinner table. From champagne glasses to side tables, the brand also have various new arrivals for the month of October and November outside their Christmas collection, all of which are available to purchase or pre-order on their website.  

Tekla have launched their own kitchen linen collection (Source: Tekla)