PARIS — French department store Printemps is taking a firm step forward in the sustainability space with the “Unis vers le beau responsable” (or “United toward beautiful responsibility”) initiative beginning Thursday.
A Chloé pop-up will take pride of place in the central atrium of the Printemps Haussmann store, featuring Gabriela Hearst’s fall 2021 debut collection for the label presented on vintage and locally produced low-impact furniture. In the same vein, the department store is turning its windows and entrances over to Parisian creative studio Atelier Laps for a large-scale installation in recycled wood.
At the heart of the event, which will run until Oct. 31, is the launch of the eponymous “Unis vers le beau responsable” sustainability label, which aims to help customers identify products and brands that adhere to best practices in terms of human, ethical, ecological and social responsibility.
“The world is changing, and it’s up to major actors like Printemps to be connectors and catalyzers of change. Printemps has always taken hold of societal shifts to integrate them into its development and democratize them,” the company wrote in a statement.
Brands will be evaluated based on 22 criteria grouped under nine themes going from sustainable sourcing and inclusive practices to leveraging know-how and innovation. These standards were developed in partnership with specialist agency Imagin’Able, comprising a committee of experts and brands of reference. In order to qualify for Printemps’ new label, a brand will have to accrue 30 out of 100 possible points.
Another highlight of this sustainable initiative will be the Sept. 22 inauguration of the new floor dedicated to circularity, announced in March and billed as “the largest space in the [French] capital dedicated to circularity.” Housed in a historic part of the Printemps Haussmann building that had been closed off to the public for some six decades, it will offer vintage finds and a secondhand buyback service.
Other initiatives include a partnership with French charity Emmaüs to collect garments and accessories across all the department store’s doors in France; micro-donations during checkout to benefit the GoodPlanet foundation founded by famed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and a series of conferences open to the public around circularity.