Department Stores

Selfridges launches sustainability initiative

Selfridges has announced the launch of a “transformational” sustainability initiative entitled Project Earth.

The initiative builds upon previous steps the department store has taken to “place sustainability at the heart of the business”, and will work to change the way customers shop by 2025. 

The scheme will address the materials used in products, with all products to come from sustainable sources by 2025. It will also launch and explore new retail models, such as repair, resell, refill and rental, and “engage with teams, partners and customers to inspire a shift in mindsets”. 

Project Earth will work alongside 300 brand partners of the group, as well as support from the Woodland Trust and WWF.

According to Selfridges, it is the first luxury department store to “set tough material requirements” as part of its commitment to a science-based Scope 3 carbon reduction target in goods and services.

Underpinning the initiative will be a broader commitment to science-based targets, and a pledge to be net-zero carbon by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Alannah Weston, chairman at Selfridges, said: “For the last decade we have taken ground-breaking steps to put people and planet at the heart of our business, embedding sustainability alongside creativity. 

“Project Earth is not only our bold, new commitment to stretching environmental targets, it is about imagining new ways to do business, within the next five years.” 

She added: “Now more than ever we must double down on our efforts to reinvent retail with sustainability at its heart and a way of working which is regenerative for humans and nature. 

“Achieving our ambitions won’t be easy, but we are in a unique position to be able to work with our team members, partners and customers to co-create change and explore possibilities for a sustainable future.” 

Anne Pitcher, global managing director of Selfridges Group, said: “In a way we never could have predicted, the cycle of consumption has been broken by the pandemic marking a moment of change in our customers to a more considered mindset and requiring us to set new expectations for retail. 

“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.” 

She added: “Selfridges has the platform to change how shopping is done wrapped up in the destinations, experiences and inspiration customers want from us. 

“And the tough, stretching targets we have set ourselves underpin our commitment to change our business and our ambition to imagine and create a sustainable future for our customers.”

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