Back in 2020, Selfridges committed to its sustainability strategy with Project Earth, an ambitious outline for its in-store, buying, corporate training, and customer engagement strategies—outlined under the categories of Materials, Models, and Mindsets. “In creating our store of tomorrow we must commit to a fundamental shift in the way that we do business and use the Selfridges platform for change. Our vision is to reinvent retail and create a more sustainable future, and Project Earth and our new targets underpin this,” comments Selfridges Managing Director Andrew Keith.
24 months later, has the retailer been able to follow through on its pledges? The results are in, with the company publishing its outcomes in a bid to encourage corporate transparency and stay on track with its outlined goals, and adjusting them where necessary. BeautyMatter rounded up the facts present and future-facing below.
Key points include:
As for future ambitions:
“Following a period of experimentation and exploration, we are excited to move into a new phase of embedding and accelerating. This is particularly evident in the rapid evolution of Reselfridges, our flagship circular initiative which brings together resale, rental, repair, refill and recycle,” Selfridges Managing Director, Andrew Keith, adds.
This vision includes not just the brands stocked on its shelves, but the entire operating models of its stores, and initiatives to promote more circular consumption practices amongst its shoppers. “We recognize that we need to challenge ourselves to accelerate change, and our ambitious circular and materials targets do just that. We don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to finding solutions, through a continued imaginative approach to retail innovation,” he states. “The scale of our ambitions cannot be underestimated, but we are inspired by what lies ahead and how we bring this to life for our customers.”
While roughly half of Selfridges customers (52%) are aware of Selfridges’ sustainability efforts, 80% of its team members state they can contribute to sustainability as a result of their employer—a promising number for trickle-down economics. The company’s vast commitments are to not just the environment, but also ethics, with increased emphasis on inclusivity training for managers, closing the pay gap, and more women and people from underrepresented ethnic groups in leadership roles. By end of the year, 80% of management and store leadership teams will have completed modern slavery training. Keith comments: “Today, more than ever, we need to take big, bold decisions. The future of retail is circular, which means leaving behind our linear, transactional ways—customers on one side of the counter and us behind it.”
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