Country Road St Ives is the latest store to open its fashionable doors at St Ives Shopping Village, but this fitout offers something special. The sustainable design includes tables made from recycled yoghurt containers and fitting room hooks revitalised from ocean plastic. It’s this awareness of environmental impact that enables Country Road to target a Green Star rating. We talked to Elle Roseby, Country Road MD, about the achievement.
How do you explain the success of Country Road given it all started with a simple white shirt? What makes the brand so beloved by Australian women?
I think our biggest strength has been listening and responding to our customer needs over time—it’s what led to the brand evolving into Australia’s first lifestyle brand.
We’re humbled to be a part of people’s lives, whether it be through something special for their wardrobe, or a gift for a loved one. It’s a special relationship that Australians have with Country Road, and as a brand, we will always protect that.
What drew you to the St Ives location? What appealed to you about the North Shore community?
Our wonderful community is what drew us to the area, we knew there was a desire for a local store by listening to our customers. It was just a matter of timing to find the perfect space.
The new St Ives store opened on Thursday. What’s different about this particular store?
We are so proud of our brand-new St Ives store, the first Country Road location in Sydney to target a 5 Star Green Star rating through the Green Building Council of Australia. Following in the footsteps of our Chadstone flagship, St Ives will be our fifth store transformation in just over 12 months.
Not only is this store a benchmark of sustainable retail design; it is also a beautiful space and pleasure to be in. We ultimately wanted to create the best experience for our customers, while minimising our impact on the environment.
What is the Green Star rating and why is it so important?
The Green Star rating is an internationally recognised sustainability rating system for buildings, fit-outs and communities. It is awarded by Green Building Council of Australia, taking into account things like energy and water use, materials, land use and emissions for a particular building project. The St Ives store is targeting a 5 Star Green Star rating, which is recognised as Australian Excellence in design.
Take us through the store fit-out and its incredible use of recycled materials
Our store design team considered every element of the St Ives store, which was designed to emulate our innovative Chadstone flagship. Highlights include fixtures made from recycled yoghurt containers, carpets crafted from fishing nets and fitting room hooks revitalised from ocean plastics. In addition, the fitting room curtains are made from recycled polyester and tables throughout the store have been crafted from recycled plastics.
Tell us about any other ways Country Road shows its commitment to sustainable design?
We want our customers to feel proud of every Country Road product they take home, not only because it’s made from the best quality materials, but also because it has been created in a way that considers its impact on the environment. We’re on a journey to improve our processes every day, with some recent highlights including our Verified Australian Cotton and Verified Australian Merino range (which are made from fibres that can be scientifically traced to Australian farms). Across the brand, we’re proud to be using organically grown fibres such as linen and cotton, recycled materials and responsibly sourced cellulose.
What are some other ways Country Road is committed to the environment?
We’re continually looking at ways to challenge ourselves across all areas of the business. Our design teams are always looking for innovative design processes and materials, and we have some incredible partnerships in the works which we can’t wait to share with you soon.
When we talk about sustainability in fashion, what are some of the most important issues buyers should be aware of?
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact fashion can have and it’s incredible. We are constantly being challenged by our community to do better and it drives us forward.
For us, it’s important to bring our community on our journey, and recognise that while we’re not perfect, we’re always striving to do better. It’s the reason we launched Our World, an online platform dedicated to sharing our sustainability journey with our wider community. More recently, we launched the Our World edit, which allows customers to filter products and shop based on their values.
A specific example we’re incredibly proud of is our partnership with Oritain. We were the first Australian fashion retailer to partner with Oritain, who can scientifically trace our fibres back to their origin. While we already had documentation to prove fibre origin, this level of traceability gives the customer a 100% guarantee that they are supporting Australian farmers.
What are conscious design practices and why are they important?
Conscious design practices encompass all the steps that go into the creation of our products, to make sure they are made in a way that lessens their impact on the environment. Country Road’s ‘Our World Edit’ was designed to bring these practices to the forefront, to give consumers a way to shop our collections in a way that matters most to them.
What are your hopes and aims for Country Road in the future, in terms of environmental impact?
We recognise that we’re on a journey and we will always strive to do better. This ethos extends beyond fashion design and store fit-outs to encompass everything that we do. We have some incredibly exciting partnerships in the works which we look forward to sharing soon.
Are there any simple things responsible buyers should look for or be aware of when shopping for fashion?
Do your research and ensure the brands you’re supporting align with your values as a consumer. For some, that might mean looking at what’s in their clothes, or where certain fibres are sourced from. For others, it could be about supporting brands that give back to their local community. As a consumer, there is incredible power in the choices that you make.
Country Road St Ives: Essential Details
- What: Country Road St Ives
- Where: St Ives Shopping Village, Shop 28 & 29, 166 Mona Vale Road, St. Ives
- Opening Hours:
- Monday -Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm
- Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm
- Contact: Phone 02 9144 2549 or the website