Selfridges launches new sustainability goals for 2025

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Selfridges has launched a new sustainability initiative, which aims to help customers change the way they shop in three ways: addressing the materials used in products, launching and exploring new retail models such as repair and resell, and engaging with teams, partners and customers to inspire a shift in mindsets.

Working closely with over 300 brand partners and with support from the Woodland Trust and WWF, the new programme will kickstart with eight weeks of experiments, innovations and conversations, across all stores and online, dedicated to ‘reinventing retail.’

Alannah Weston, Selfridges Group Chairman, commented on the announcement: “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.

“Since Project Ocean in 2011, Selfridges has been focused on changing mindsets around sustainability both inside our industry and in conversation with our customer.

“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.”

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

Through their new programme, called Project Earth, Selfridges commits to:

  • Materials – Ensure the most environmentally impactful materials used throughout the business come from certified, sustainable sources by 2025
  • Models – Pioneer new retail models and experiences, making Selfridges ‘synonymous with circularity, including repair, resell, refill and rental’
  • Mindsets – Put ‘longevity, creativity and sustainability’ at the heart of the business, and engage with teams, partners and customers to create change

Underpinning Project Earth is a broader commitment to Science Based Targets and to achieve Net-zero carbon by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Anne Pitcher, Global Managing Director of Selfridges Group, added: “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.

“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.”

As part of the programme, the retailer is embedding circularity into the business with new services, including a Repairs Concierge, helping customers to find which repair service is needed to make love-worn items as good as new and Resellfridges (launching in September), its first own brand resale model.

Selfridges will also introduce new Project Earth labelling (replacing the Buying Better labelling scheme) signposting to customers in store and online products that have a specific sustainable attribute.

For example:

  • Over 700 products from more than 130 brands that contain recycled materials and ingredients or reduce the consumption of single use plastics will be labelled as ‘Reducing Waste’
  • Over 400 products from more than 40 brands will be labelled ‘Organic’
  • Over 550 products from more than 20 brands that avoid all animal-derived ingredients will be labelled ‘Vegan’