Sustainable Sports Store

Gulf Marketing Group had huge ambitions – they wanted to be the first to open a fully sustainable store located in The Dubai Mall. The ‘Make a Difference’ or M.A.D store would be the first retail space within the mall to stock only 100% sustainable garments, sold within an environment built with sustainability at its heart.

Attitudes regarding consumerism have faced a huge shift. We needed to ensure that this store and its ethos met the needs of a population that is increasingly mindful when it comes to money whilst also hitting the mark with a crucial sustainability agenda. The growing concerns surrounding greenwashing from consumers makes honest communication key for the brands that want to demonstrate a genuine commitment to their customers and the planet.

We wanted to ensure that we could educate customers about our ethos and the importance of looking after our planet. A key part of this is to ensure that the store presents an innovative sustainable sportswear collection by pioneering brands which allowed us the opportunity to present these sustainable fashion choices in a premium way. The flexibility of the space was crucial to ensuring the collections can be displayed to suit key seasonal trends and campaigns.

With this insight in mind, we understood the need to carefully curate a space which considered sustainability from all angles. All touchpoints and elements were scrutinised to ensure they stood up to climate implications. A key aim for us was education. We wanted to educate our customers about our ethos and the importance of looking after our planet. A crucial part of this was including first class brands to present their innovative sustainable sportswear collections. Collaborating with pioneering brands of this nature also allowed us the opportunity to present sustainable fashion choices in a premium way, with the ability to flex the space to suit seasonal trends and campaigns.

Our concept was designed with modularity in mind, minimising fixed, heavy furniture elements in favour for adaptable components. This strategy allowed for maximum flexibility, giving space for brands and ranges to change dependent on desired need.

We utilised a large number of sustainable materials and finishes, including recycled scaffold tubes and plug in shelves to enhance flexibility and avoid the use of non-environmentally friendly fixings.

We were mindful to ensure our strategy was considered across all elements of the store including a comms story which helped to communicate the issues of Ocean pollution and how we can play our part to save our planet. A hugely important part of the store was the fascia – as the first store of its kind in the mall, we wanted to ensure that we made a statement, indicating our ethos to consumers before they had even stepped through the door. The fascia itself was 3D clad with recycled plastic tiles – made from old PVC windows and drainpipes and formed into sculptural ‘scales’ to reference protecting the Oceans from plastic waste.

An activation zone at the front of the store used mannequins to create the bold statement, ‘Time is Running Out’. Whilst the dedicated installation area with a large format projection screen creates a strong focal point in the heart of the store to tell stories of positive actions by others that could influence customers to think about how they may help to save our planet.

This constantly updating area featured a powerful message about saving our oceans from plastic waste and the store itself has this subject referenced as a thread at its core. Alongside the use of various recycled, re-used and sustainable materials, recycled plastic is used in key elements throughout the store. From the distinctive façade to tactile display fixtures and surfaces, the environment promotes the circular use of these otherwise discarded and pollutant materials in a creative way.

This ambitious store, created with sustainability at its heart was a huge undertaking for Gulf Marketing Group. The considered strategy, speed of implementation and innovative concept has created a strong, future-proofed strategy for the M.A.D brand.