Uniqlo Regent Street has opened a new space dedicated to circular thinking in a move aimed at encouraging consumers to extend the lifespan of their apparel.
The RE.UNIQLO Studio opened on 8 September at the retailer’s flagship London store, giving customers more opportunities to repair, recycle, and find ways of reusing their clothing. It comes at a time the wider retail industry, including notably Selfridges, is looking at ways to embed more sustainable models of consumerism into its operations.
A repair service has existed in the Uniqlo Regent Street store since it opened in April 2022, but it is now housed in the newly created space on the lower ground floor. Shoppers can bring in their Uniqlo items that require some mending, and trained staff can fix them for fees starting from £3.
In addition, Uniqlo has extended its free alterations service from selected bottoms to tailoring on a wider range of items. The ‘Remake’ service is also housed in the new RE.UNIQLO Studio, where there is also a chance for consumers to gather more information about the retailer’s speciality upcycling services.
Shozaburo scissors and Misuya Bari needles, for example, will be available to purchase, helping shoppers try some traditional Japanese upcycling practices at home too. This offering comes thanks to a partnership between the retailer and London-based Studio Masachuka and pattern designer Zeena Shah.
Uniqlo garments already reimagined using traditional Japanese techniques are now available for sale in the store for customers who prefer to buy upcycled goods rather than brand new items.
Uniqlo Regent Street also continues to house recycle bins on the lower ground floor to collect customers’ unwanted garments. Product collected from the these bins is donated to charity, but goods unsuitable for reuse is collected and used as raw materials or recycled into materials for new clothing or energy sources, according to the retailer.
The flagship Uniqlo store is based in a 19th-century Grade II Listed building covering three floors. A Grade I Listed dome space on the lower ground floor, which at one time existed as a fully operational barber shop in the 1920s, is the space used for the RE.UNIQLO Studio, and it retains the barber Shop’s original Art Deco features.
[Image credit: Panasonic Corporation]