The Selfridges Story

In a pioneering environmental move, Selfridges is championing the collection of used cups from its retail stores and offices and handing them over to James Cropper to upcycle them into beautiful paper for the store’s iconic yellow carrier bags.

British retailer Selfridges is well known for pushing boundaries and setting global trends. A winner of awards for its innovative approach to sustainability, the department store has been focusing on buying better and inspiring change. In a pioneering environmental move, Selfridges is championing the collection of used cups from its retail stores and offices and handing them over to James Cropper to upcycle them into beautiful paper for the store’s iconic yellow carrier bags in a completely unique closed-loop recycling solution.

The paper for Selfridges bags now combines fibre from coffee cups with wood pulp from sustainable forestry sources, and is aligned with Selfridges’ commitment to proactively tackle environmental issues with initiatives within its retail stores.

Abby Chicken, sustainability manager at Selfridges said:

“Sustainability is one of our key values at Selfridges – it’s a part of our strategy and a really important part of our heritage. We call it ‘Buying Better, Inspiring Change’ and it’s about how we can encourage our team members and our buyers, but also our customers, to buy better and really make the world a more positive place.

“In our stores we’ve got 23 different coffee outlets and they create a huge amount of coffee cup waste, so we were looking for a solution. James Cropper devised a process whereby they can upcycle our waste coffee cups into our own carrier bags – and that’s hugely exciting for us.

“What really attracted us to James Cropper is their alignment with Selfridges’ values. It’s an historic British brand, but in the 21st century they’re looking at radical solutions that address the issues we face and creating something really beautiful and long-lasting.

“We’re really pleased with the end product – we’ve now got the iconic yellow Selfridges bag with the same colour and same durability, but with that CupCyclingTM logo on it that tells a story for our customers and enables us to be a part of something that’s really radical.

“It’s been fantastic working with the team at James Cropper and together we have created a solution that solves a problem and creates something much more beautiful at the end of it.”