A new sustainable store concept has been launched by Italy-based global fashion brand United Colors of Benetton which features intensive use of sustainable materials and state-of-the-art technology along with energy-saving technologies. This new location is a real trendsetter for a revolutionary approach to low environmental impact retail.
The new store is the result of intensive research and innovation effort and is part of a major sustainability project that is carried by Benetton to improve its environmental and social performance throughout the supply chain, consolidate best practices, and become a model for sustainable fashion globally.
Benetton Group Chief Executive Officer, Massimo Renon said that in the world this concept behind the new store is very unique and it marks the launch of a new phase of their firm. It will be the milestone on their path of becoming a global reference point in terms of sustainability. In this Florence represents the symbol of a sustainable Rinascimento. In terms of social impact, Benetton has always made courageous and cutting-edge choices. With more determination and conviction, they will continue in this tradition.
The single-floor boutique is around 160-square meters and is built using upcycled natural materials. Gravel from the river Piave and waste wood from beech trees brought down by Vaia which was a storm that hit the Italian Veneto region in 2018, is used to make the floor. Mineral paint with antibacterial and anti-mold properties is used to treat the walls which can also reduce pollutants in the environment.
New materials created from textile industry scrap are used to make the store interiors. A compound created from used buttons (difficult to dispose of) mixed in hydro-resin is used for making the perimeter platforms and bases of the display stand; for the design of the perimeter lining and as decoration for the curtains of the dressing rooms recycled wool (in its raw wick state) was reused; ‘rossino’, a material created from upcycled, mixed textile fibers was used in making shelves, display bases and mannequins.
Sustainable solutions were used in the shop window displays that reduce the use of resources. Movable transparent panels were fixed to the ceiling that created a sort of theatrical backdrop that forms a connection between the store and the street. Low environmental impact transparent LED screens were used in windows to feature content about commercial information, product visuals, and communication.
In terms of power consumption, the Florence boutique is also a benchmark i.e. the shop consumes 20% less energy than a standard store. The energy efficiency of the points of sale was maximized by a system based on tiny sensors, data analysis, and artificial intelligence. One such example of comfort guaranteed to the shoppers is that based on the number of people in the shop store temperature can adjust automatically.
The sustainable garments displayed in the shop are made using recycled, organic, or BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton, regenerated nylon, natural fibers such as linen, and other sustainable materials. While purchasing there are different options available for shopping bags like washable, easily recyclable organic cotton bags or paper bags made with materials sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests.
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