_ Sustainable Retail Design
Our vision is to be part of a movement that leads change towards a more circular and less environmentally impactful industry, and we are working to kickstart changes across both our own operations and within the wider industry. Taking a meaningful stance to tackle the challenge our planet is facing requires the courage to take bold actions. These include making mindful design choices, considering material lifespan, reconsidering waste, and thinking more local. Sustainable practice should be the default choice going forward, and as shown in some of our recent projects, it does not have to be an aesthetic compromise anymore. We’ve always believed that great design should – and can – be available to all. From our start 20 years ago, our role has always been to provide the best support to our clients with an approachable face and a can-do attitude. Today this means being sustainable; it’s the only way that we can continue to make great design and great experiences available to many people for the future in years to come.
adidas x Sports Direct
DEVELOPING THE FLAGSHIP CONCEPT
Design plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of physical retail, and at d4r we envision a future where the only design for retail is sustainable design. Based on our in-depth insight, we set out to curate a design strategy for adidas which contributed to ensuring that over 95% of the materials used in its retail fixtures were sustainable.
Chosen materials included only those which had a low environmental impact and the ability to be repurposed whilst also conforming to environmentally-friendly production methods. It was also vital that the materials were fit for purpose and, of course, met the safety standards of the popular sports retailer. Read more
We set out to incorporate materials such as cork, eco-board, and sustainable inks, among others, into the design rationale, as well as recycled ocean plastics as per Adidas' commitment to ensuring that none of its products contain virgin plastics from 2024 onwards. This initiative is part of the brand’s wider End Plastic Waste campaign which aims to raise awareness of the damage that we are doing to our oceans via our single-use plastic deposits.
As we embarked on this exciting project, the d4r team embraced its sustainable direction throughout the stages – from curating branding and digital content in the design studio to technically developing full engineering packs for accurate production, and managing the assembly collation and execution of all hardware articles within the Sports Direct re-fit programme.
IMMERSIVE BEAUTY POP-UP
MAC Cosmetics launched a conspicuous campaign in Selfridges’ trio of revered department stores: Selfridges Birmingham, Selfridges Trafford Centre, and Selfridges London.
The client wanted to provide an immersive pop-up experience where shoppers could explore its products, have consultations with MAC agents, and enjoy a selfie moment - all whilst ensuring customer safety via safety screens and social distancing.
Using MAC’s key visual, we produced a handful of hand-drawn sketches that would help to decide the direction of the Botanic Panic pop-up concept. Generating 3D renders of the pop-up for all three retail sites, our 3D designers further refined the creative concept, whilst our technical designers focused on ensuring that the pop-ups were production-ready. Read more
Of course, very few things these days are made without consideration to their impact on the environment, and with MAC’s pop-ups going into Selfridges - a retailer that has been campaigning for our planet via its Planet Earth campaign - you bet we considered the pop-up’s environmental impact in our designs. For example, we replaced typical plastic-containing artificial flowers with paper alternatives for better recyclability. This also gave the display a more intricate aesthetic and depth of detail. What’s more, staggering installation dates for the pop-ups ensured that the fixtures could be repurposed between installations and reused.
Showcasing an immersive sensory experience, this beauty pop-up brought the Botanic Panic product collection to life with a theatrical display. Orchestrated scent cues were added to the customer journey via hidden Jo Malone scented fuse beads to give customers a more sensual experience whilst the addition of a play table gave customers the opportunity to truly get to know the brand and its products. Demonstrating an appreciation for their customers’ emotions when shopping for beauty, MAC were really happy with the level of customer engagement at the pop-ups, as well as the number of shoppers who took the opportunity to take a selfie in front of the flower wall in the selfie booth.