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Selfridges Sustainability: Project Earth

Selfridges sustainability strategy, Project Earth, has launched this month, with the iconic British retailer looking to reinvent retail and help close the loop on waste.

Luxury UK department store Selfridges has recently launched the new Selfridges Sustainability programme dubbed ‘Project Earth.’ The plan outlines Selfridges’ new commitments and pilot projects around sustainable material sourcing, environmental communications and resource-efficient business models.

Project Earth also focuses Selfridges efforts on the brands they stock, with direct action to meet strict new sourcing standards, alongside launching their first own-brand resale model called Resellfridges.

What are the main elements of the Project Earth strategy?

Project Earth is the most ambitious Selfridges sustainability strategy to date, exploring how Sepfridges can reinvent retail and help close the loop on waste. With the launch of Project Earth on 17th of August 2020, Selfridges announced new plans to embed sustainability into their long-term retail strategy, covering materials, business models and mindsets.

Selfridges Sustainability Project Earth Shop Pre-Loved
Selfridges Sustainability Initiatives with Project Earth. Source:

Customers can now refill their favourite beauty products, rent an outfit for a special occasion, buy pre-worn collections, and repair their most-treasured items at the department store. This is in partnership with a large variety of third-party brands that Selfridges stock, including Levi’s and Prada.

Selfridges Sustainability: Rent

Selfridges has partnered with HURR, an online fashion rental platform so that they can offer shoppers over one hundred items for hire for up to twenty days at a time. The clothing garments are sourced from over forty big-name fashion brands.

They also plan to sell a selection of vintage clothing for six weeks from the end of September, and shoppers can also sell used accessories to the store for credit from mid-October.

The Selfridges x HURR rental scheme gives shoppers five reasons to rent their wardrobe:

  1. Fashion at a fraction of the price: Customers can rent pieces for big occasions without breaking the bank.
  2. A stylish and sustainable solution: Renting pre-loved pieces is one of the most effective ways to lower your environmental fashion footprint.
  3. Sign up instantly for free: Customers can gain access to a luxury lending library with no strings attached.
  4. Try before you buy: Shoppers can take designer classics and seasonal pieces out for a spin to see if they want to purchase the item.
  5. You wear, we aftercare: Selfridges take care of the dry-cleaning afterwards.
Selfridges Rental Fashion with HURR
Selfridges Rental Fashion with HURR. Source:

“Capitalising on the shift from ownership to access, HURR provides a rental pop-up for customers looking for newness, variety, affordability and sustainability. Selfridges continue to support the rental revolution, and drive positive, long-lasting change in how the lifespan of a garment is viewed.”

Victoria Prew, CEO & Co-Founder, HURR

Selfridges Sustainability: Repair

Customers can now fix and repair their most-loved items with the new repair service at the Repairs Concierge at Selfridges London. Whether its shoes, designer bags or a jewellery piece that needs some renewal, Selfridges Repairs Concierge experts can make customers’ used purchases as good as new. 

Customers can book a virtual consultation with one of Selfridges’ repairs experts, who will be able to identify which service you need from the comfort of your own home. They can then help shoppers organise either an appointment in-store or an at-home collection, depending on the service.

Selfridges Sustainability- Project Earth Repair
Selfridges Repairs Service as part of Project Earth. Source:

Selfridges Sustainability: Refill

Selfridges have introduced a range of refill services across their stores to help shoppers save on packaging waste. Many of their new refillable product options are available in their beauty department, and home solutions store at Selfridges London. They are offering top-ups on everyday household products, along with lots of handy sustainable solutions for the average daily routine.

To help customers in choosing more sustainable products, the retailer is also launching Project Earth labelling online and in-store on their products:

  • More than seven hundred products from one hundred thirty plus brands stocked by Selfridges containing recycled materials, or reduce consumption of single-use plastics, will be labelled as ‘reducing waste.’ 
  • Four hundred products from forty brands to be labelled ‘organic.’
  • More than five hundred fifty products from twenty brands which avoid animal-based ingredients will be labelled ‘vegan.’

Selfridges Sustainability: Recommerce

After hosting a pop-up with resale brand Depop at its flagship London location last year, in September Selfridges will launch ‘Resellfridges’ as its own Recommerce channel. This is the department store’s first own-brand resale model, where consumers will be able to buy and sell garments and accessories from Selfridges’ own-brand labels, both instore and online.

The Resellfridges edit includes pre-owned pieces from the Selfridges archive and collections curated by vintage sellers such as Vestiaire Collective, Levi’s, Not/Applicable and Craig Green. Following on from this, Selfridges customers will be able to sell their second-hand accessories online for instore credit.

Selfridges Future Sustainability Commitments

Project Earth will see Selfridges bolster its environmental engagement and communications with its customers through online events and interactive activities. They’ve already teamed up with an array of third-party brands and charities like WWF and the Woodland Trust to host an eight-week programme of webinars and social media takeovers.

These new initiatives from Selfridges form part of the department store’s plans to reduce its environmental impact, including a commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2050. They have already pledged to: 

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 64% in stores and offices by 2030.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint associated with the deliveries Selfridges both receives and makes.
  • Ensure that 50% of all products sold have one or more environmental benefits by 2022.
  • Eliminate waste by working closely with brands to reduce unnecessary packaging.

Coronavirus lockdown restrictions have forced many fashion retailers to close their stores and warehouses and cancel or reschedule fashion shows. All brands are having to, or already have, adapt to drastic changes in recent months.

“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.”

Anne Pitcher, Global Managing Director, Selfridges

For more information on Selfridges Planet Earth programme, you visit their website here.

Further Reading: Sustainability at Zalando: Future Focused Retail. Read More

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