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 designing for circularity to extending the life of our interior concepts and reducing our use of resources.
We ensure that from the very initial design stage, we create our spaces using responsible materials, according to circular design principles and with end of life in mind. Our aim? To reduce and optimise our resource use with the overall goal of reducing our carbon footprint.
In 2022, we launched our new concept interior in Stockholm and Taipei, followed by our first ever store in Mexico City and a new store in Bangkok. Our new concept represents a positive step towards our goal for a fully circular interior. It uses a higher percentage of recycled content materials than our previous designs and removes and replaces high carbon materials such as fiberglass and concrete. The stores have been designed for disassembly to ensure we can easily maintain, repair and reuse as much of our interiors as possible.
01. RESOURCE REDUCTION & OPTIMISATION
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. We use various metrics as part of our circular assessment methodology to better understand the materials we use in stores. Tracking our CO2 footprint, for example, helps us identify areas for resource reduction.
We are also constantly identifying areas for our own improvement. Recently we learned a high percentage of our CO2 emissions for our new concept stores comes from our floor tiles. Subsequently, we have worked with our supplier to manufacture and trial a thinner version of the tile. The thinner tile is just one of the ways that we are optimising our resource use in our new Bangkok and Seoul stores.
02. CIRCULAR DESIGN
We want to design products and prioritise materials in our interiors that can be easily recycled or reused to reduce our consumption of virgin resources, which is better for the planet.
Our new concept showcases wardrobes made from rapidly renewable bamboo, which are shipped to our stores flat packed and are assembled without any adhesive. By designing the wardrobes like this, we ensure that we can easily repair, disassemble, and transport them in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
As part of our circular design and reuse goals we are also constantly striving to close the loop on our existing waste streams. We work with one of our suppliers to recycle our old and damaged concrete plinths back into new plinths, taking responsibility for our own waste stream. In 2023 we sent 17 tonnes of concrete to our supplier for recycling and put 8.5 tonnes of our recycled concrete back into our stores.
03. REUSE, REPAIR AND RECYCLE
We recognise that opening stores isn’t always the most sustainable thing to do, so when we do, we design with responsibility and circularity front of mind, ensuring to reuse, repair, and recycle as much as we can from our existing stores.
For three years COS has been running a takeback and reuse programme for store interiors. Since its inception, we have saved 377 tonnes of materials to be reused, repurposed, donated or used as material feedstock.
In March we opened our new store in Edinburgh with 60% of the shop fitting coming directly from reused interiors from another store.
In November 2023 we opened our Copenhagen popup with 91% of the fittings used from a previous store, from the mirrors to the cash desk.
In 2024 we expect to open our New Jersey store with a 45% reuse rate.
04. RESPONSIBLE MATERIALS
We are constantly 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.
Recycled concrete plinths
As part of our commitment to lower carbon materials and take control of our waste stream we have committed to no new concrete plinths in our stores. Instead, we have worked with our supplier to turn our damaged concrete from stores into new plinths.
As featured in COS Seoul, South Korea and Hangzhou, China.