After 20 years in Little Bourke Street, Australia’s oldest outdoor and travel outfitter, Paddy Pallin is raising the bar for retailers and adventure outfitters with the opening of their new ‘green’ Melbourne store.
The store’s facelift incorporates recycled and low energy fittings – while ‘environmentally sensitive’ also defines much of the range of clothing and gear.
“Paddy Pallin was a dedicated bushwalker and ardent conservationist, so ‘green’ has been a part of our company ethos for the past 70 years. The new Melbourne fitout gave us the opportunity to take our efforts a step further,” explains Rob Pallin, CEO and son of Paddy Pallin.
“In Paddy’s bushwalking and conservation tradition, we’re not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk. We’ll be the first outdoor equipment retailer in Australia – in fact, one of the first of any kind of retailer – to adopt a range of initiatives, building materials and green features in a shop fitout, over and above normal building regulations.”
The new fitout incorporates as many environmentally-sensitive features as budget – and Melbourne City Council – would allow. They range from the obvious, such as low energy lighting and green energy supply, to the practical, such as bicycle racks and showers to encourage staff to ride to work, to the innovative. Sixty five per cent of the old store’s timber framing and electrical wiring was re-used; paints are all water-based and non-toxic; timber veneer floors, walls and counters are derived from sustainable forests and the joinery is adhesive-free, which means most of the interior is biodegradable, re-usable and recyclable.
Originally, plans were drawn up to turn the entire shop frontage into a ‘living wall’ with a vertical garden. While this wasn’t ultimately possible, there is a large, living Paddy Pallin logo, made up of Australian native plants, on the shop frontage.
The company has taken a holistic approach to sustainability. Not only does the fitout incorporate green features, the range of clothing and outdoor gear favours environmentally-sensitive brands and products such as Icebreaker fine merino wool clothing, which incorporates a ‘Baa code’, enabling individual garments to be traced back to source.
Long-standing in-store initiatives include Don’t Bag the Environment (20 cents is donated to conservation for every carry bag a customer refuses); recycling and waste minimisation regimes; and staff are encouraged by the example of company directors, Rob and Nancy Pallin, who have been active and effective environmental conservation campaigners for most of their lives.
Following the refurbishment and greening of the company’s Brisbane and Miranda (Sydney) stores, the new Melbourne store, located on 360 Little Bourke Street opens on 17 November.