Our buildings mean much more to us than simply a place to house our collections. They’re part of the COS experience. Whether it’s a flagship store or a small pop-up, our team of in-house architects consider every detail to bring you destinations of great design, whatever or wherever they may be.
Since our first store opened in London, we’ve taken COS to many places around the world. Our iconic buildings can now be seen in the likes of New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Tokyo, Seoul and Paris – just to name a few.
But as we broaden our horizons, we must think beyond walls to reinvent the definition of our spaces and the positive impact they can make. This means looking at ways we can make every aspect of our stores more sustainable, from the materials we use in our interiors and construction methods, to extending the life of our interior concepts and ways of using less energy.
This is not new to us. Many of our stores are housed in buildings that already had a long life before COS. For example, if you visit us in Paris, you’ll find us nestled within the cosy courtyard of an ex-hammam bathhouse. Not only does this create a unique shopping experience for our customers, but it means we can reuse what’s already there, instead of using up resources to create new stores. We always do what we can to preserve what’s there in the present, so that we can give a future to the buildings of the past.
It’s our ambition to become leaders in meaningful change and find better ways to build our stores, not just for ourselves, but for our whole industry too. That’s why we are currently using a series of roadmap goals together with the H&M Group to help us on our journey towards a fully circular built environment.
01. RESOURCE REDUCTION & OPTIMISATION
Reduce our carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in our circular built environment value chain by 2030.
One of the ways we are reducing our overall CO2 consumption is by replacing energy intensive materials with more energy efficient solutions.
As part of this commitment, we are prioritising materials with a high percentage of recycled content that can be easily recycled again. For example, the mannequins on display in our Regent Street flagship store in London are made entirely of recycled polystyrene from a waste stream, proving easier to repurpose after recycling and providing a healthier and more sustainable alternative to virgin fibre glass.
In addition to reducing and replacing materials that are heavy on the planet, we’re introducing new lighting that is lighter on the planet. Right now, we’re working towards fitting all our stores with LED lights by the end of 2024 – with a target to have 80% of our stores switched over by the end of 2022. Moving to more energy-efficient lighting will help us significantly reduce our CO2 emissions.
02. CIRCULAR DESIGN
100% new products designed for reusability, repairability or recyclability by 2025.
To make sure all the products we create are designed with circularity in mind, we have introduced a new circular design guideline. This framework helps us check all of the below is considered before a new product is made.
It is made from sustainable materials
The size and function have been optimised
It can be used again
It can be shipped with ease
The materials and components can be recycled
One of the first products we made using this framework is a display table that is currently in 25 of our stores. It’s crafted from FSC-certified materials and organic dyes. The size of the table is determined by the sheet material it was made from, reducing waste in the production process. It's also designed as a flat-pack unit to optimise shipping space. The material has colour all the way through to the core, as a unique way to hide any scratches – making it easy to refinish and reuse.
03. REUSE, REPAIR OR RECYCLE
Reuse, repair or recycle all products and materials by 2030.
Making the most of our own resources is one of the best things we can do in becoming a circular, climate positive business. So far, we're proud to have introduced a number of internal projects that have been successful in decreasing our demand in our business for new resources.
Last year, 40% of our new stores were opened using second life materials from other stores. This equates to a staggering 116 tonnes of interior product being given a second home. To ensure that we reduce the need for new resources, we reuse our materials for longer as part of our commitment to the circular economy.
Take a look at these two example stores showcasing our reused interiors. Our store in Tallinn, Estonia, repurposed 46% of second-life materials, while Shanghai, China, opened with 78% of second-life materials repurposed from other stores.
So far this year we have managed to save 69 tonnes of material to put back into our stores. That’s the equivalent weight of 472 of our cash desks.
04. RESPONSIBLE MATERIALS
Use 100% sustainably sourced and 50% recycled materials by 2030.
We have already started seeking innovative solutions for the materials we use in our stores. Here are a few examples we have introduced so far, but keep checking back to discover more.