Explore the new fit-out of Untouched World’s flagship store

In association with Untouched World.

No less than the first fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for its efforts in sustainability, and given permission by UNESCO to carry the UNDESD (United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development) logo on its labels, New Zealand’s Untouched World isn’t one to do things by halves. On learning it’s given its flagship Ōtautahi/Christchurch store an update, we wanted to know more. Creative director Lucinda Le Heron was the woman to ask.

So what was the reason for this renovation, Lucinda? Our flagship store sits alongside our eatery Untouched World Kitchen, our workrooms and our head office, so for many of our visitors, it’s a first point of connection with the brand. Because of this, we wanted to elevate it to better communicate who we are. We set out to create a light, airy, inviting and inspiring space that’s understated yet luxurious, and where thoughtful design reflects the quality of our collections and reinforces our connection to nature. Every detail is deliberate, and they all come together to offer a sense of harmony to everyone who passes through.

How did you decide who to work with on this project? Gezellig Interiors have a philosophy of creating spaces that tell a story and speak to the soul, and we thought their work aligned perfectly with what we wanted to achieve. We briefed their team on the feel we wanted for the store, put together a mood board that conveyed our aesthetic and values, then left them to dream up the design and bring it to life.

THESE IMAGES An installation at the entry to the exceptional new store provides insights into Untouched World’s local merino wool and on-site garment-making. A cobbled path leads you past metal lettering on the wall that celebrates the acknowledgement from the UN, then as you move further into the space, you discover all kinds of thoughtful touchpoints that evoke even more of what the brand’s about.

How has your environmental ethos come into play? Just as we do with our collections, we took great care to create a store that prioritises timelessness over trends. We put the spotlight on natural, enduring, high-quality materials, and an earthy palette of clay, sand, slate and bronze that references the Canterbury Plains where Untouched World began. Wherever possible, we also repurposed our waste. Leftover merino and Ecopossum yarn was woven into the design of our beautiful Māori kites [referencing the label’s logo] that hang inside the entrance. Our cushions were made using remainder Airewool fabric from our current collection, our point- of-sale imagery holders were created from offcuts from our cobblestones, and signage for the bathrooms was made from recycled rimu from a local timber yard.

How important was it to you to source things locally? We’re proudly 94% New Zealand made, so it made sense to carry that commitment over to this project. We used exclusively local makers for the entire store. When you enter, you’ll be welcomed by two kites created by Paula Rigby hanging from the ceiling, and notice our kite door handle crafted by Tom Mackie. Stone from the Ōamaru quarry has been used for our light fittings, counter and tabletops. Locally sourced river stones feature in our garment racks, and we worked with Ben Scales of KiwiFibre on fabric squabs crafted from harakeke/flax for our changing room stools. Our bespoke lighting was created in collaboration with Nightworks, a curved sofa from Kovacs provides a place to rest or read a magazine, and David Shaw made our changing room mirrors. 

And perhaps the most special thing of all… People are always taken aback when we mention our clothes are made just through the wall, so one detail we’re particularly excited about is the new window that provides a view from the store into the workrooms. It’s a privilege to have our makers here on site, and to be able to give our customers the opportunity to look behind the scenes and see our clothes being made. A visit to this store has become a chance to learn more about our manufacturing and step further into our world. Seeing is believing, and having this window is a great way for people to see the work that goes into crafting our garments.

Interview Alice Lines

Filed under:

error: Copyright The Pluto Group Ltd 2022 - contact us for usage licence

Homestyle shares
modern ways
to make a home
in New Zealand

Sign up to receive the latest in your inbox

Thanks for subscribing to Homestyle's newsletter - we'll be in touch soon.