The first ECO shop will open in Chiswick, west London in January 2008
Carbon footprints, fossil fuels, climate change, global warming – clearly the environment is one of this generation’s most significant issues. Despite this knowledge, all too often something prevents us from changing the way we live. Change can be uncomfortably challenging, especially if there’s no guide or community to tap into to discuss the logistics of greening one’s life and one’s home. However all this is set to change in January, through the launch of ECO.
ECO– is an exciting new retail concept and the first of its kind – a store, showroom, consultancy and destination that will offer inspiration, ideas and specific domestic solutions for all those who want to lead a greener and more energy efficient life. Italian-born Nicola Giuggioli, together with his sister Livia Giuggioli and her husband, actor Colin Firth, have banded together with other like-minded individuals, including financier Ivo Coulson, to create a solution – ECO. ECO will bring together a carefully selected and created range of household products, appliances and building solutions that will combine technology with good design, resulting in products that are stylish as well as ecologically sound, from ideas to improve insulation and lessen energy use to eco-friendly furniture, paints and wallpapers. ECOpromises to deliver sustainability easily, and with style.
Crucially, in addition to making ‘green’ products available, ECO will act as a hub of information and services for anyone interested in the environment. It will be a place to produce, learn and share vital information about greening our lives, a place to network and plan for a greener world.
From left to right : Ivo Coulson, Colin Firth, Livia Giuggioli, Nicola Giuggioli
photographer : Pal Hansen
THE FIRST ECOLOGICAL DESTINATION STORE
Through its use of energy saving appliances and products, the store will aim to be completely self sufficient in terms of energy usage, thanks to all the solar panels installed and the wind turbine. Nicola hopes it will be regarded as a living example of efficiency and insulation with its up to the minute water recycling systems (all the water used in the shop-except the drinking water-will be recycled and collected in different ways like rain harvesting and gray water filtering). Designed by architect Guy Stansfeld, ECO aims to provide strong visual appeal with a contemporary and stylish interior design.
On entering the store, customers can explore ECO’s ground floor with its wide range of product and decorative accessories including solar chargers, vases, lamps, bulbs, toys, books, cardboard furniture, wind-up radios and torches, paints, wallpaper, stationery etc. Visitors can take a break from shopping and browse the book section and sit down with a cup of tea.
On the first floor there will be examples of eco-friendly kitchen appliances including washing machines, kettles, dishwashers, toasters, fridges and ovens. Other products on display will include grey water recycling systems for bathrooms, under-floor and skirting board heating systems. On the rooftop, customers will have hands-on access to solar panels (transparent solar panels, solar tiles and shingles, high efficiency solar panels) find out about wind turbines, solar pumps, green roof insulation systems and garden solar lighting, and get advice on which ones are best for customer’s specific needs. In the basement customers can use the consultancy service, whether for the office or the home, for any sort of eco project or energy audit.
Nicola Giuggioli comments:
“I’ve been working since graduation on developing alternative power sources and it struck me that nothing like ECO exists, yet I believe there is unquestionably a demand for well designed and efficient products that will benefit us in terms of saving money and energy. I’d like ECO to lead the way in providing solutions for a greener way of life – resulting in an improvement in our lifestyle rather than a sacrifice. I want ECO to be a place to have a cup of tea and talk about practical environmental solutions – a place where people can feel positive about safeguarding their environment.”
“Over the years, Colin and I have become so much more aware of the fact that as individuals we have a responsibility to respect what is left of our environment, if not for ourselves then certainly for our children. So when Nicola told us about this project, we decided without a moment’s thought that we would support it. ECO is all about making simple and positive choices to improve our environment, and our homes are the place where this starts.”