Visitors to American Apparel’s latest New York location, in Hell’s Kitchen, will find another bold, graphic shop from the brand known for its smart, simple basics. What they may not notice is the fundamental shift in design and construction. The 9th Avenue store is the result of extensive research to develop a model for sustainable retail fit-outs. It is set to achieve LEED Gold certification this fall, the first in what American Apparel hopes will be a trend of sustainable fit-outs going into the future.
Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture (JPDA), American Apparel’s retail design and development agency, proposed that the two companies collaborate to develop a retail roll-out program that emphasizes sustainable practices and strives for LEED certification. JPDA developed the architectural branding for American Apparel’s stores, and was excited to evolve the materials and specifications in a way that would incorporate sustainable practices while preserving the retailer’s signature look and feel.
The system implemented at the Hell’s Kitchen location utilizes a mix of energy-efficient practices (natural lighting via Solatubes®, supported by compact fluorescent lamps), sustainable materials (FSC-certified wood products and recycled floor tiles), and operational strategies which encourage low-carbon footprint behaviors (secure bicycle racks and showers to promote commuting by bike).