A novel pop-up retail concept has arrived in New York’s Soho care of sustainable luxury loungewear brand nuhü division. The brand worked with two Spanish innovators, eco-design firm Cartonlab, and award-winning design agency Studio Animal, to create a store using zero plastics, its walls and mannequins constructed from 100 percent recycled cardboard, to showcase a range of casual wear made of 100 percent organic cotton.
The cardboard material, a much more sustainable option over traditional building materials, used in the interior’s construction has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and is valued for its versatility, light weight, transportability and ease of assembly. Since the brand’s pandemic launch, nuhü division has committed to several environmental practices including the use of Organic Content Standard (OCS) certified cotton, Oeko-Tex® certified dyes which are low-impact and non-toxic, 100% recycled packaging, and eliminating the use of plastic throughout their entire manufacturing and distribution process right through to the packing tape used to ship orders.
Building sustainability into the retail experience
Cartonlab is a leading company in the structural design of cardboard spaces and furniture, and Studio Animal is a benchmark office in the retail world with its innovative and colorful designs. The nuhü collab resulted in the creation of brightly colored archways which are arranged so that guests walking through the store could almost imagine they are walking under a rainbow.
Says Bernice Bai, CEO of nuhü division, “With our first retail store, we want to make color the very first thing that customers see. We want to surround them in color from the moment they see the storefront all the way through to the fitting rooms and checkout.” Each garment is printed with its respective color code from Coloro which becomes a branding motif across the range of updated French terry leisure separates. The collection also boasts hues as bold as the city of its first store location––there is hot Williamsburg Pink, a neutral Bagel, Strand Red after Manhattan’s famous bookstore and a vivid green named after the 4, 5, 6 subway line.”We’re trying to keep our style simple but also with detail, it’s not just any sweatshirt, it looks different,” Bai who has been in garment manufacture for over 25 years tells FashionUnited. “You don’t have to keep buying every season and keep changing because right now we are spoilt, it’s too much.”
“The nuhü division pop-up is a space that generates a memorable experience, it is an installation that immerses the visitor in the nuhü universe,” says Javier Jiménez Iniesta, head of Studio Animal. “The project enhances the geometry of the store, which is narrow and deep, working with perspective to generate a powerful visual game from the street.
Currently nuhü manufactures between China and New York City. Plans are afoot to take the company global and to explore the personalities of other cities through color, design and, naturally, sustainability.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry