Nuhü division unveils unique plastic-free pop-up store in Manhattan

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A new pop-up retail concept has arrived at the Nuhü division of sustainable luxury loungewear brand Soho in New York City. The brand worked with two Spanish innovators, eco-design company Cartonlab and award-winning design agency Studio Animal, to create a store using zero plastic, its walls and mannequins constructed from 100% recycled cardboard, to present a range of casual clothing made from 100 percent organic cotton.

Cardboard, a much more durable option than traditional building materials, used in interior construction has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and is appreciated for its versatility, light weight, transportability and ease of assembly. Since the brand’s pandemic launch, the nuhü division has engaged in several environmental practices, including the use of certified Organic Content Standard (OCS) cotton, low-impact, non-toxic Oeko-Tex® certified dyes, packaging 100% recycled and eliminating the use of plastic throughout their manufacturing and distribution process right down to the packaging tape used to ship orders.

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Embed sustainability into the retail experience

Cartonlab is a leading company in the structural design of cardboard spaces and furniture, and Studio Animal is a benchmark office in the retail world with its innovative and colorful designs. The nuhü collaboration resulted in the creation of brightly colored arcades that are arranged so that customers walking through the store can almost imagine they are walking under a rainbow.

According to Bernice Bai, CEO of the nuhü division, “With our first retail store, we want to make color the very first thing customers see. We want to surround them in color from the moment they see the storefront to the fitting rooms and checkout. Each garment is printed with its respective Coloro color code which becomes a trademark motif across the updated French leisure wear range. The collection also features shades as bold as the city of its first store – there’s warm Williamsburg pink, a neutral bagel, Strand Red after the famous Manhattan bookstore, and a bright green named after the line of metro 4, 5, 6. “We try to keep our style simple but also with details, it’s not just any sweatshirt, it looks different,” said Bai, who works in the clothing manufacturing for over 25 years at FashionUnited. “You don’t have to keep buying every season and keep changing because right now we’re spoiled, that’s too much.”

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“The nuhü division’s pop-up is a space that generates a memorable experience, it is an installation that immerses the visitor in the nuhü universe”, explains Javier Jiménez Iniesta, director of Studio Animal. “The project improves the geometry of the store, which is narrow and deep, working with perspective to generate a powerful visual game from the street.

Currently, nuhü manufactures between China and New York City. Plans are underway to expand the business globally and explore personalities from other cities through color, design and, naturally, sustainability.

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.

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