Our favourite stores from June include feminist pop-up, Birdsong, Shoreditch concept Not Just Another Store, Lush’s first plastic-free venture, Tailor Made’s latest outpost and Moët & Chandon’s summer house.
Lush Naked Shop
Completely plastic free, Lush’s newly opened Milan store is the world’s first packaging-free cosmetics store.
What we love
The concept. Since David Attenborough’s award-winning series Blue Planet 2 aired, the general public’s concern with plastic pollution has skyrocketed, so this store, completely devoid of plastic, feels timely. Lush has always been environmentally conscious, saving 800,000 bottles from landfill in 2017 alone and this outlet is the next step in its mission to be the ultimate sustainable brand. Lush encourages customers to come with their own bags but provides cute containers and wraps to carry products home in.
It’s not just about products. Lush also has ambitions for this store to be a place for discussion around issues of the environment and sustainability. A plastic-free library on the first floor is stocked full of books and there are a number of animations available for customers to watch that delve deeper into the topics of zero waste and ocean plastics.
The use of technology. To make the lack of packaging easier to navigate, Lush has introduced a clever piece of AI called Lush Lens. If a customer wants to know the ingredients of any product, Lush Lens recognises it instantly and will bring up a list of ingredients and product information.
Moët Summer House
Legendary champagne brand Moët & Chandon opened the Moët Summer House for one weekend earlier this month in celebration of its 275th birthday.
What we love
It’s a great way of building the Moët community. Billed as a private members club that exudes the generous spirit of founder Claude Moët, this summer house is a fun, culturally interesting way of engaging the brand’s existing and potential customers. Guests needed to register for general admission then some of the other events needed to be paid for separately.
The roster of fun events. Curated by Jack Guinness and Portia Freeman, the Moët Summer House is home to a varied number of events that can be enjoyed with a glass of champagne in hand. The programme includes a DJ set from Idris Elba, performances from ballet dancer Eric Underwood and singer Bluey Robinson, tasting sessions with chef Jason Atherton, and live podcast recordings with The High Low, as well as much more.
The unabashed glamour. Owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, there’s little surprise that the Moët Summer House was a particularly glam affair. Set in a Mayfair townhouse with a swirling staircase, glistening chandeliers and sleek marble floors, the setting was the perfect space to welcome guests and celebrities alike –spotted were Elton John, Kristen Scott Thomas, Natalie Massenet and Tinie Tempah.
Birdsong is a feminist online store that sells products dreamed up by an in-house designer and made by underprivileged women from London’s East End.
What we love
The clear purpose. No sweatshops, no photoshop is the motto Birdsong lives by. As well as celebrating women’s bodies through unretouched images, it aims to address the issue of underpaid women working in the garment industry – an estimated 60 million worldwide by working with women’s groups and charities to make its products. All these women receive the London Living wage.
The concept. We loved that Birdsong shows ethical fashion can also be very trend led. This temporary store is the latest in a series of pop-ups the brand has staged and is a great way to reach new customers and strengthen ties with existing ones – the free drinks and chocolate on offer don’t hurt either.
The mix of brands. As well as Birdsong’s in-house designs the store sells a cute mix of up-and-coming designers and some well-established independent brands. The sample-sale prices are very attractive and all the fashion and homeware lines complement Birdsong’s own designs beautifully.
As ethical fashion becomes an increasingly talked about topic, it will be interesting to see how brands like Birdsong develop and what their ultimate influence will be on the mainstream.
Tailor Made London
Tailor Made London has opened up a new store in London’s Belgravia, bringing bespoke design into the 21st century with a 3D body scanner.
What we love
The efficient technology. Cutting out a lot of time and fuss, the 3D body scanner takes precise measurements in 10 seconds. The result is a swifter suit-making process at a relatively cheaper price point.
It’s unlike a traditional tailor. The clean, pared-back interior with its slight industrial vibe feels like a modern alternative to the customary Mayfair tailor. And with an in-store bar station offering a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, it’s also a much more informal space.
It still feels human. Yes, the technology is as the brand describes ‘contactless’, but the well-trained staff still guide customers through the process and there’s an awful amount of attention given to the artisanal construction of the garments and hand-made tailoring services.
Not Just Another Store
What we love
It really isn’t just a store. Yes the store sells a great mix of contemporary brands – Marr-Ldn, MLTV Clothing, WHYT Studio and Ecru – but it’s not simply a place to sell products. The owners of Not Just Another Store want it to be an experiential space that hosts a smorgasbord of events and that’s welcoming to customers even if they’re not buying anything. As one of the co-owners said, “It wants to be more accessible than the normal contemporary space.”
The events programme. Art exhibitions, music nights, brand pop-ups, panel discussions and much more – there’s always an eclectic mix of topical, artistic and fun events happening every month. When we went down to check it out, London legends Born N Bread were setting up for their regular night, ‘Release’… we wish we could have stayed!
The inviting interior. Thanks to the ever-changing art exhibitions, the space is always adorned with fresh prints, paintings and photography. Panelled walls, polished concrete floors and gold metallic touches, enliven the store’s long and narrow proportions. It feels far more warm and welcoming than the normal white-box contemporary/luxury environment.