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Benetton makes a Difference in Florence

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Sustainability has to be one of the watchwords for retail in 2021. At a moment when Covid-19 has caused us all to reexamine what we do, being seen not to be profligate, in terms of both energy and materials, has been at the heart of many retail projects lately.

With this in mind, it would appear, Benetton, the purveyor of bright colours, has opened a 160 sq m, single floor store in Florence that puts sustainability centrestage, or at least midshop. With floors made from gravel from the local River Piave, coupled with beechwood from trees that were blown down by a 2018 storm in the Veneto, the intention is clear from the outset.

To this, Benetton has added a floor-level surround for the perimeter wall that has been created by repurposing buttons and a number of the store’s other features, fitting room curtains and suchlike, have been fashioned by upcycling textiles, rather than using anew.

The outcome is a good-looking interior and if Benetton, and others like it, could do the same elsewhere this is the sort of thing that could make a difference.