T2 launches sustainable store amid customer change

Tea retailer T2 has launched its first five-star green star design review rated store in Westfield Bondi Junction, featuring the brand’s first refilling station. In order to achieve a green star design review rating of five stars, a store must be for excellence in sustainable and environmentally conscious design, construction and operation.

The Bondi store features a focus on natural, Australian made materials and finishes, as well as recycled materials, and came out of a desire to live and breath the brand’s sustainable message, according to T2 head of store design Kate Iles.

“The store was designed with best practice Green Star features such as green energy, the introduction of living plants for air quality and improved sustainable operational practices – for example, waste management,” Iles told Inside Retail. “It considers environmental comfort and is a bespoke design with accessibility and ergonomics incorporated.”

The store’s countertops are made of Betta Stone, a material made up of up to 80 per cent recycled glass, while offering customers the chance to bring in a reusable tin to refill at the brand’s trial refill station.

And, designed and developed in collaboration with creative design studio Sandbox Group and the Green Building Council, the store sets a strong example of how retailers can unite brand values with sustainability according to Sandbox Group creative director Luke Cannon.

“It’s my hope that projects like this one are used to standardise the process for future builds, and to make it easier for more businesses and brands to achieve Green Star Ratings,” Cannon said.

“T2 is such an exciting Australian brand, and it’s been fantastic to be involved in such an innovative project to not only strengthen the T2 brand and experience, but also to make steps toward a better environment and reduce the impact of the fit out.”

Spending habits favor sustainable push

The new store, and other initiatives like it across the industry, come as customers increasingly push toward sustainable shopping. According to the findings of an Accenture survey of more than 3000 respondents across five continents, consumers are beginning to seriously consider the health and environmental impacts of their shopping choices in a post-COVID world. 

Half of respondents said they are shopping more health-conscious, and will likely continue to do so, while 45 per cent said they were shopping more sustainably.

“The scale of the changes identified in our findings clearly suggest that this is a long-term shift,” said Oliver Wright, managing director of Accenture’s global consumer goods practice.

“While we have been seeing these trends for some time, what’s surprising is the scale and pace — compressing into a matter of weeks changes that would likely have taken years. The new consumer behavior and consumption is expected to outlast the pandemic, stretching far beyond 18 months and possibly for much of the current decade.”

According to Wright, the spread of COVID-19 is likely to lead to a more sustainable, healthy era of consumption in the next decade, as customers increasingly take the issue of sustainability into consideration.

“At the same time, it’s a wake-up call for companies to ensure they have the agility and capability to be relevant to consumers and customers — with a portfolio of products and services that match shifting purchasing patterns — not just today, but post-pandemic as well.”

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