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United Colors of Benetton debuts sustainable store concept

Retail

By Tess Stenzel

8 Mar 2021

Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton has announced a new store concept that includes upcycled natural materials and energy-saving technologies to further its initiative of low environmental impact retail.

The store features flooring made with gravel from the river Piave and waste wood from beech trees brought down by a storm that hit the Italian Veneto region in 2018. The walls are treated with mineral paint featuring antibacterial and anti-mold properties that can also reduce pollutants in the environment.

The interiors of the store are made with new materials created from textile industry scrap. Display stands are composed of a compound produced from used buttons, which are otherwise difficult to dispose of, mixed in hydro-resin. Recycled wool is reused in the curtains for the dressing rooms. Mannequins and shelving are constructed from rossino, a material created from upcycled, mixed textile fibers.

According to the brand, the new store uses 20 percent less energy than a standard store with a system based on tiny sensors, artificial intelligence, and data analysis to determine the number of customers in the store, then automatically adjusting the temperature. The windows are equipped with low environmental impact transparent LED screens.

“The concept behind this store is unique in the world. It was developed to launch a new phase for our firm,” stated Massimo Renon, Benetton Group CEO, in a release.

“It’s a project our company firmly believes in, a milestone on our path to becoming a global reference point in terms of sustainability, and in which Florence represents the symbol of a sustainable Rinascimento. Benetton has always made courageous and cutting-edge choices in terms of social impact. We will continue in this tradition with ever more determination and conviction.”

Image: Benetton Press