Matt Tipping Double Retail

Do you believe in building a ‘better business’?

Matt Tipping

Business isn’t just about making money. The current overarching aim for the primacy of shareholders is a broken one; the system simply isn’t working. In terms of the industry we are based in, retail has always been a thing and will always be a thing – but the journey has got to change.


Sustainable store design

Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to make money (after all, it makes the world go around), you just have to consider how and why you’re doing it. At Double Retail, we are on a journey to becoming a better business.

For starters, we are in the process of becoming employee-owned – meaning employees will own the majority of shares – and we have recently completed our B Lab Impact Assessment with the hope of becoming B Corp certified. We have also transitioned our overall structure to democratic governance. This means everyone who works at the company has the power to influence our business. This is a permanent operational model change, not just a Scout’s badge that you buy and stick on to your blazer – everyone has to be involved.

New Strategy

As part of our new strategy, we all meet once per month to make big and important decisions as a team. From managing days off, to completing tasks, everyone is equally responsible for using their initiative to take action. To achieve this, the main thing we have taken on board is accepting everyone as an individual. It’s important to remember that reasonable prosperity is different for everyone. Although this hasn’t been an easy journey, we believe it has been a key step towards becoming a force for good in the world.

As well as placing employees at the centre of our company, we view the planet as a shareholder in our business. We are extremely mindful that the average fashion retail lifecycle is only 5-10 years. Although this is slightly higher than it used to be, there is still a huge amount of consumption waste within the retail industry.

An example in retail.

Take cosmetics brands as an example – the cosmetics industry features lots of brands taking ethical and sustainable stances, whilst endeavouring to reduce their environmental impact. However, when you look at the bigger, more long-term picture, their stores are often full of custom-made materials. That means thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of stores-worth of shop displays that are highly likely to end up in landfill at the end of their life. We believe circular design can help combat this. Through our design and operational processes, we aim to widen the lens through which brands, retailers and suppliers to the industry perceive the impact of the design and build process – from start to finish.

One of our key inspirations has been The Seventh Generation Principle. Based on Iroquois philosophy, this principle considers how the decisions we make today should have positive impacts seven generations on in to the future.

Building a better business is all about care, compassion and love – for people and planet. If you are looking to become a force for good, please get in touch and we will happily share our experiences so far.

It’s important to remember that reasonable prosperity is different for everyone.

Can I have some more?

watch shop display

Designing a store that embodies brand values.

Recently as part of an interview, I was asked what retail may look like by 2025. Whilst I understood that this question shouldn’t be taken literally, I believe it is clear to see that retail is pushing forward into the realm of being experience-led. Brands know that their brick and mortar stores are becoming showrooms to try-on or try-out products, and as such, they are having to push harder to create experiences and connections with their customers.