All over the world there are sustainability festivals and stores popping up to bring about awareness. Right now in London from September 1 - September 28 in the center of town at 84 - 86 Regent Street is one of these eco-responsible hot spots. We sat down with the ethical entrepreneur behind The Conscious Edit concept store and founder of the Lone Design Club (LDC), Rebecca Morter, to talk about sustainability and how customers can have an exciting shopping experience while contributing to positive change.
Since its opening on September 1st the store has been packed with curious Londoners interested in learning about sustainability in a light, high fashion, and ludic setting. It brings together industry leaders, change-makers, and a diverse selection of conscious, independent fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands, all under one roof. Designed to take visitors on a trip through the industry's innovation and encourage them in taking simple actions towards a more environmentally aware lifestyle. Rebecca told us "Each of the events is focused on drawing customers, drawing traffic down to the store, creating really exciting, immersive and memorable experiences." The shop honors the brands, businesses, and individuals who are working hard to address their environmental and social impacts and to create a more sustainable future.
Rebecca informed us that the Lone Design Club is the first conscious fashion and lifestyle brand retailer to collaborate or partner with a landlord to support brands which might not have the money or the abilities to reach thousands of people. The brands are "looking to superpower their growth through agile retail, you can only grow so much online, to really increase that engagement and to network" says Rebecca. High streets like the Regent Street are much more powerful when it comes to reaching and influencing a lot of people. Rebecca was really excited to tell us that they collaborated with The Crown Estate, which according to her is "the creme de la creme of property estates“.
When we asked if they consider to keep the store up for longer or even make it permanent since it has been really successful and a lot of people showed their interest, Rebecca responded: "We only do pop ups because we believe in experiences, community and storytelling. We support them into these retail opportunities, none of the stores last more tan two to six weeks, and it is really about giving prime retail locations to our brand community, but it is really focusing on that agile, flexible retail experience.“ Rebecca goes on to say "We won’t have a permanent store, for now anyway, it's really about being super agile, being data driven and creating opportunities to brands and landlords, it could be the same concept in a different city with different brands. Think of it like a drop because with permanent stores it's harder to keep the excitement. The next city is going to be Paris, maybe next year“
IRK was interested to witness the most recent advances in materials and manufacturing. Customers get to observe how new things are created by up-cycling, reusing, and renting. They can also connect with companies who are doing humanitarian work, planting trees, and pursuing B Corp certification. It is really inspiring to hear about the designers and activists who are leading the charge for fair salaries and ethical working conditions.
We are impressed how LDC brings together the worlds of repair, customization, and rental alongside conscious products and collections such as certified B Corp underwear from Nudea, planet-friendly, modern designs from Aligne, and ethical cashmere from Chinti & Parker. Customers can bring in their pre-loved clothing to be fixed with care at the repair zone in collaboration with Sojo. Customers are being guided on the simple actions that may be taken to live a more sustainably aware lifestyle, with conscious buying options including new, vintage, repair, reuse, swap, and rental possibilities. "It's not only about inspiring and reaching more people to make an impact but also to help the brands as well. We focus a lot on the business' side, show them something game changing, these incredible brands they won’t get anywhere else, give them the experience they won’t get online but at the same time providing the space to the brand“ informed Rebecca. Visitors can get a custom designer experience at LDC's Up-cycling station, where a design team is ready to revamp and repurpose old clothes. Additionally, a substantial rental area created in collaboration with Rotaro emphasizes the lovely clothing that is offered on the rental and resale markets.
It is fun to explore a range of educational zones, positive impact in the industry with conscious fashion and beauty events, sound bath sessions, live podcasts, catwalk shows and presentations, panel talks, music from the newest talent from BBC Introducing, and a complete Metaverse experience in association with XR Couture. "Customers connect on a much more meaningful and deeper level with the brands, rather than when they’re shopping online" informed Rebecca.
The journey of the store is centered on four aspects of sustainability, which is being illustrated via brand curation and immersive places and experiences across the store. There are conscious fashion, green beauty, calming wellness, self-care, and lifestyle brands available, all of which are working hard to create a more sustainable future. "At the end of the day we are at a point of crisis“ says Rebecca and why LDC and The Crown Estate have partnered with Compare Ethics to validate the work done so far by 30 companies participating and demonstrate their real commitment to reducing their impact.
Something to note, the inside of the store is designed and curated utilizing furniture that has been saved from landfills, recycled, or up-cycled. This zero-impact method is described throughout the space in gallery-style narrative about where the things came from and what the teams did to bring them back to life. While there are aspects of novelty, the LDC team seeked out the most inventive interior design firms available, with the goal of building the shop entirely out of recycled materials.
Rebecca told us about a really great digital wardrobe app which analyzes how much percentage of your wardrobe is actually used. She states "We're using algorithms to see if the item you want to buy matches your existing wardrobe and what it can be worn with, its about conscious behavior."
Customers are being guided on the simple actions that may be taken to live a more sustainably aware lifestyle, with conscious buying options including new, vintage, repair, reuse, swap, and rental possibilities. At the end of your experience at The Conscious Edit there is an interactive wall where customers can consider their journey that they’ve taken through the store. Customers are asked to reflect on what is the conscious decision that they’re gonna make? What is their takeaway from the store?... Rebecca concludes "This is a way to show them that they have a choice and there are a lot of opportunities to be more sustainable, it's not just up to the brands".
There is still one week left to discover and be part of this exciting Pop Up experience in London before they close their doors again and we have to wait for the next event which will most likely be happening in Paris next year. The Conscious Edit offers new ways of thinking and behavior such as make a pledge, consider rewearing, renting items, swapping with friends, get to know the brand behind the product before considering buying the item and much more. Being a conscientious shopper is an exciting new opportunity that will bring about positive change to the fashion world.