L’Occitane Australia is opening a world-first “green store” in Sydney on 14 October, with waste reduction and sustainability central to the design. The store's benchtops are made from glass recycled through L'Occitane's in-store TerraCycle program. A refill station for L'Occitane's Forever Bottles encourages packaging re-use.
Converting its Westfield Bondi Junction boutique into a fully-functional five-star Green Star Design Review-rated store, L’Occitane has partnered with TerraCycle, Betta Stone and Site-Box Projects to ensure sustainability from demolition through to construction of the store.
L'Occitane's Refill Fountain, a focal point in the store, allows consumers to refill products in their one-time purchased Forever Bottle.
The Refill Fountain has been rolled out in selected L’Occitane boutiques in the USA, Europe and Asia. It features a pulsed light sterilisation system, which is calibrated to hygienically dispense the exact amount of product refill selected, ensuring quality control and safety.
The Forever Bottles, made from long-lasting, lightweight and 100 per cent recyclable aluminium, allows consumers to significantly diminish their environmental footprint as well as enjoy long-term financial benefits, according to the company.
L’Occitane says that each bottle filled at the Refill Fountain will save an average of 20 per cent, compared to an original shelf product.
Pierre-Emmanuel Joffre, general manager L’Occitane Australia said, “We are so proud of this achievement and the level of detail from the materials through to the refill fountain. We collaborated across the whole company to think outside the box so that sustainability and reducing waste is at the centre of the boutique. Just like L’Occitane’s philosophy, it is in everything we do.”
In keeping with sustainable practices from demolition through to construction of the “green store”, L’Occitane supplied collected glass from its in-store TerraCycle program for the manufacture of the boutique’s benchtops and icebreaker sink by Betta Stone, pioneer in producing engineered benchtops from recycled glass.
A first for Betta Stone, this repurposing of waste enabled L’Occitane to close the loop in line with circular economy principles.
Robert Thompson, owner of Betta Stone said, “We are seeing a lot of larger corporations seeking us out and coming on board with utilising this product, for both its sustainability and health benefits, but L’Occitane will be the first who has closed the loop on supplying the materials through its TerraCycle program. To see that tangible benefit of collecting consumers waste and re-purposing it in store is impressive.”
TerraCycle echoed Betta Stone in saying, “L’Occitane Australia has always been very innovative in this space, being the first beauty brand to adopt the TerraCycle program in 2016. Now L’Occitane will also be the first to use its own recycling program waste to build counters and other store surfaces. It is encouraging to see the full cycle being adopted so readily.”
The physical build of the boutique was also undertaken with a partner who shared the same ethos and values – Site-Box Projects. It worked with L’Occitane to ensure that the materials used are supported by credible environmental certifications including the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest, the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Tag and Good Environmental Choice Australia.
L’Occitane also worked with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to convert its boutique to a “green store”. Once the store is open and operating for several months and all outputs can be monitored and submitted, the final stage of its certification can take place.
Due to the level of complexity and detail required to meet this standard, this is considered a rare achievement in the retail sector – to date only 19 per cent of the 3000-plus buildings certified by the Green Building Council of Australia are retail. And of these, only three retailers have achieved a Green Star rating using the Interiors tool, which L’Occitane is on track to join.
“The spirit in which L’Occitane is incorporating Green Star into its retail fit out is exemplary and testimony to how deep L’Occitane’s sustainability values run within its business,” said Davina Rooney, CEO of GBCA.