Selfridges launches sustainability initiative


Selfridges has launched what it says is a ‘transformational sustainability initiative’ as part of its commitment to help customers change the way they shop by 2025.

Project Earth is supported by the Woodland Trust and WWF and sees the department store work closely with over 300 of its brand partners. The initiative kicks off with eight weeks of experiments, innovations and conversations, across all stores and online, ‘dedicated to reinventing retail’.

Through the initiative, Selfridges has committed to:

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

“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,” explains Alannah Weston, Selfridges group chairman. “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,” she adds. “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.”

Anne Pitcher, global managing director of Selfridges Group, comments: “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.”

The Project Earth initiative also encompasses a wider commitment to science-based targets and to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Photos: Matt Writtle/Selfridges