The elephant in the room is plastic. There – we’ve said it. Plastic can be good, but most of it is being readily avoided by customers if they have the choice. After the ban on free plastic bags the world has slowly developed a different opinion on plastic use.
There were very promising signs from the traditional mass plastic retail trades, such as clothes hangers from Cortec and mannequins from Hans Boodt. High density boards made from recycled clothing by Really and business cards made from recycled t-shirts, by Moo, stood out in particular. It was great to see end of life being quoted at the source of a retail chain and not just at the cliff edge of disposal. Hangers made from 50% grass and 50% recycled plastic is awesome, mannequins made from jute and composite material that’s in its second life are all epic steps forward in retail.
Creating retail environments isn’t about the obliteration of what already exists. There are many options to over-clad and change appearances with minimum impact such as wallpaper made from natural materials including meadow grasses, flowers, and leaves made by Organoid. Micro thin stone cladding, by Stone Leaf, can elevate and embellish a store environment in a fast and effective fashion.
Pioneer Trading Company’s use of magnetic material is being applied to walls, allowing changes to the store layout within seconds. Mabos can transform flooring instantly with magnetic floor panels that can be lifted and reused when needed or moved onto the next job.
All these solutions aid speedy installation and change-over with minimal disruption to trading and the customer experience.
The show for us is a window into what’s next. New low-impact materials, and products with reuse considered from the beginning are the way forward, and at last, as an industry we are catching up. Look at it like it’s just one massive plastic bag that we need to stop using. We all did that, so why not this?