Sustainability in Retail Space
Today’s consumer is educated and can respect eco-ethical efforts in their retail experiences. Incorporating environmental sustainability into your business will not only save internal cost, but the informed customer has been shown to spend more in environments that reflect their ideologies. Here are some tips to encourage an eco themed space.
“For every carbon measure there is a pound associated with it: you save one, you save the other.”
Construction and interior fit out can often use materials which through their creation are pollutant or not recyclable at their end of life. Using sustainable materials can be more expensive in the immediate build. However materials which perform well will save cost in the long terms bills. Here are some materials which are both sustainable and beautiful.
Harvested from bark without having to fell trees, cork is an attractive sustainable furnishing to incorporate into your space. Frequently used as a building material for insulation and underfloor sound dampening. Companies such as Gencork are taking expanded cork to the forefront with beautiful wall coverings and statement furniture. Ilse Crawford has also designed a range of cork based furniture readily available in Ikea.
Fiber Cement Boards
Variants of wood which do not perform well structurally can be processed into a fiber. This fiber is the mixed with a thin cement before being pressed into sheets. These sheets have remarkable insulation and sound dampening qualities, and can create beautiful textures for walls and ceilings. Baux is a Swedish born company who believes in meeting contemporary style and performance without compromising tomorrow’s environmental standards.
Finding surface materials that are both sustainable and aesthetically appropriate can be difficult. One of our favourites is Richlite. A recycled paper based sheet using eco resins, Richlite also has an extensive array of colours with great finishes. Recycled plastic is easy to find but can often look garish or cheap. Metem and Smile Plastic have created a unique surface texture from recycled waste. Using these materials shows that sustainability isn’t simply an afterthought to you businesses philosophy.
VOC (volatile organic compounds) in paints can be carcinogenic upon application and are also non biodegradable. Alternative to standard emulsion are water and clay based paints. From brands such as Keim, Earthborn and Farrow & Ball. Theres paints are from naturally derived substrates and pigments and can give superb warm earthy tones to your space.