Is Selfridges Going To Change The Way We Shop?

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Is Selfridges Going To Change The Way We Shop?


Selfridges' Project Earth is pioneering a new way to shop around rental, reselling, recycling and looking after the planet. We find out more.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Mon 17 Aug 2020

Luxury department store, Selfridges, has just unveiled its new Project Earth five year initiative aimed at infusing sustainable commitments and targets through every bit of its business and changing how brands communicate and how consumers purchase in the process.

Not only is it about shifting mindset about what luxury is and what consumerism can do, but also making sure that the brands it sells also meet commitments to safeguard the planet, and the people working in their supply chains.

This is what the opposite of Boohoo looks like.

outside of selfridges department store

Selfridges has big plans that could change retail

Where does Selfridges want to get to? The designer department store with headquarters on Oxford Street wants to be ‘net zero’ by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Alannah Weston, Selfridges Group Chairman said: “Out of the global pandemic has come an understanding of how fragile and complex our systems are, but also how our planet and people can benefit if we act collectively with a shared purpose."

"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.”

shop window outside selfridges
selfridges shop window from the outside

Image Selfridges wants to be carbon neutral by 2050

Project Earth

Over the next eight weeks, Selfridges will work with over 250 brand partners on a programme of retail experiments, innovations and events (online and in store) all about reinventing retail.

Our favourite five projects within Project Earth are:

No more unsustainable materials

Selfridges are pledging to only use materials in products that come from sustainable or recycled materials and encouraging all of their brand partners to do the same.

They won't be selling products that depend on materials like fur, virgin resources or that are exploitative.

Exploring rental fashion

Rental fashion hasn't really taken off yet, possibly because it's remained online and small scale.

Selfridges will be trialling various rental models including launching with HURR Collective, where you can rent clothes for a various number of days.

Making reselling cool

From 28 September for six weeks, the Selfridges Corner Shop will sell a curated lineup of vintage clothing and pre-loved designer pieces.

Customers will also be able to sell their own pieces to Selfridges in return for store credit.


Over 700 products in-store will be labelled to highlight that they reduce waste, through their use of non-virgin materials.

Over 400 products will be clearly labelled organic to make it easier to shop your values and over 550 will be labelled vegan.

Cool kicks: The best vegan shoes for summer

Repair Concierge

The new Repair Concierge in London’s Selfridges will help customers repair much loved fashion and accessories to help them encourage a more circular model, where goods are valued, repaired and kept rather than thrown away.

repair concierge booth at selfridges
“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”

Look out for a series of 13 talks, takeovers and screenings with 10 partners such as How To Academy and Intelligence Squared and more than 20 events engaging with stories, brands and services.

The social media and webinar events include: The Future of Sustainable Beauty with Sali Hughes and an Instagram takeover by The Future Laboratory about the end of ownership.

What do you think? Do these kind of commitments from brands matter to you? Let us know in the comments below!