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L’Occitane en Provence, the French beauty and skincare brand, has recently opened its first eco-friendly themed storefront in Hong Kong. Located in Pacific Place mall, the store caters to the city’s rising group of conscious consumers, featuring the brand’s select low-waste range with refill options, a take-back program to recycle empty bottles, green workshops and projects co-hosted with local environmental charities and more.
Dubbed its “MEGA” store – to stand for “make Earth green again” and a wordplay on the not-so-eco slogan coined by former president Trump – L’Occitane’s new Pacific Place location is the brand’s latest bid to stay in favour with shoppers by embracing sustainability. Customers browsing through the new L’Occitane storefront will see low-waste bar soaps, refillable shampoos, hair products coming in 100% recycled bottles and a new collection of body care items that can be returned via their take-back program to be upcycled into new containers via a partnership with A Plastic Ocean Foundation.
To reduce its footprint even more, L’Occitane says that there won’t be any paper or plastic bags either, to eliminate the millions of unnecessary single-use carriers contributing to the 16,000-plus tonnes of waste Hong Kong produces every single day. Instead, the store kindly asks customers to take the reusable route and “BYOB” – bring your own bag.
Customers will also be able to complete a three-minute personal carbon footprint evaluation at the new “MEGA” concept shop, or join in on pop-up workshops to make eco soap bars or repurpose old bottles into planters.
The launch of the store is no doubt a move squarely targeted at the city’s rising group of conscious consumers, driven by the trend-making millennials and Gen Zs who are changing the way brands behave, and an attempt by the French beauty brand to keep its foothold in Asia while it struggles in the U.S., where its New York subsidiary has just filed for bankruptcy.
We share a vision of keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. [Our new store] is like our invitation to the Hong Kong public to explore how we can reduce plastic pollution together.Nathaëlle Davoust, General Manager, L’Occitane Hong Kong & Macau
Market research has shown that shoppers are not only more willing to spend on brands that “take a stand” for social issues, but are also actively looking for sustainable goods across every product category.
Commenting on the opening, Nathaëlle Davoust, general manager of L’Occitane Hong Kong and Macau, reiterated that the brand has now signed onto the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment formed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
“We share a vision of keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. [Our new store] is like our invitation to the Hong Kong public to explore how we can reduce plastic pollution together.”
Davoust continued: “Our societal and environmental commitment focuses on protection of biodiversity and reduction of our environmental carbon and plastic footprint.”
Other beauty brands have too been opening sustainability-focused concept stores as consumers go green, such as The Body Shop, who have turned one of its stores into an eco “activist workshop” in Singapore last summer. It followed a move by its brand rival Lush, who debuted a “Naked” store in Hong Kong in 2019, where customers can browse its range of shampoo bars, bath bombs, skincare and makeup products completely packaging-free.
L’Occitane’s #MEGA Sustainability Concept Store: Shop 156, Level One, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong.
All images courtesy of L’Occitane.