The buildings we occupy mean much more to us than simply a place we house our collections. They are a 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 have 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 have to 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 Los Angeles, you’ll be stepping into a theatre originally built in the 1920s. Or if you come and say hello 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 will 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. REDUCE & RESOURCE 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.
We have now stopped using new concrete in our interiors. The alternatives we’re sourcing for this instead are made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable with the supplier too. We’ve also stopped using fibre glass in our mannequins and are now using ones made of recycled polystyrene from a waste stream.
In addition to reducing 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’s 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 was a display table that is currently in 25 of our stores. It was crafted from FSC certified materials and organic dyes. The size of the table was determined by the sheet material it was made from, reducing waste in the production process. It was 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 over and over again.
03. RESPONSIBLE MATERIALS
Only use 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030.
We have already started seeking innovative solutions for the materials we use in our stores. Here are a few examples of what we have introduced so far…
04. 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 are proud to have introduced a number of internal projects that have been successful in decreasing our demand in our business for new resources.
COS Loop and Reuse are two innovative ways we’re doing this right now. Reuse helps us reduce our waste when building our stores. This can be done by making the most of the materials we currently have or finding more sustainable solutions for any waste that is created in the process. As a result of using better methods, we managed to reuse 153,874kg of interior products – which weighs the equivalent of 25 African elephants.
COS Loop was introduced so that we can reuse as much of our store interiors as we possibly can. The dedicated platform allows our stores to list items that they are not using, so that the ones who need it can give it a new home. Since the launch, 87% of all the interiors listed have been successfully swapped using the new platform.
In addition to these, we’re also always seeking solutions to create new products out of our own interior waste, such as making plant plots from waste concrete