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Inside T2’s new, sustainable HQ in Melbourne

Australian tea brand, T2, has provided a peek inside its new headquarters in Melbourne, a warehouse space custom designed to accommodate the brand’s growing team of 90 head office staff, reflect the look and feel of its iconic bricks-and-mortar stores and pay homage to its sustainability ethos.

Delivered by workplace design specialist Unispace, the new headquarters on Gipps Street in Collingwood features locally sourced materials throughout, rooftop solar panels and bike storage and other end-of-trip facilities to encourage eco-friendly commuting.

T2, which recently became a certified B Corporation, said it will purchase or generate 100 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable resources.

Image of T2's reception area
The reception area now serves as a community hub.

The office was also designed with collaboration in mind, and there are now solo “pods” and breakout spaces throughout the office, which staff can book. The reception area serves as a community hub.

After the team moved into the new space in October 2019, staff started using their desks less in favour of these new collaborative areas, according to Kate Iles, T2’s head of store design.

“Our new office has improved collaboration and better enabled us to showcase and develop our brand identity,” she said in a statement.

Image of people working at a desk.
Staff started using their traditional desks less often in favour of new breakout spaces.

Following the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, T2 transitioned to remote working. At the time of publication, workers in Victoria were still being told to work from home, but Iles said the new office design had actually eased this transition.

“In the current climate, it’s also allowed us to be agile and seamlessly transition to remote working,” she said.

Image of a woman working in a breakout space.
Many of the materials and finishes in the new head office were locally sourced.

Lauren Wright, associate interior designer at Unispace, said the aim was to create an experiential office experience that mirrored the T2 brand, sustainably.

“The workplace transcends the physical journey and contributes largely to the cultural aspects of a business, so we had to get it right,” she said.

This can be seen in the colour palette chosen for the finishes, which is a nod to tea, the T2 products on display throughout the space and the choice of using recycled bottles for the flooring and recycled glass for a custom worktop at reception. These features were commissioned from Above Left and Betta Stone, respectively.

T2 was founded in Melbourne in 1996. It was bought by Unilever in 2013, and now has a global presence.

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