Pick n Pay Clothing is the first clothing retailer recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for its sustainable approach to refurbishing the interiors of its growing store network. The Blue Route Mall store in Cape Town was awarded a four-star Green Star Interiors v1 rating, which indicates industry “best practice” in evaluating sustainability performance. 

Georgina Smit, technical head of the GBCSA, congratulated the company saying: “This is an excellent achievement. We are proud of Pick n Pay Clothing for committing to sustainability in a way that can be verified, quantified and comparatively assessed.” 

Green consumers 

“Customers care about sustainability, so being “green” has become a necessity for local businesses. As we increase our store footprint, making sustainable changes has a material impact on customer choices – they want the assurance they’re purchasing their clothing from a responsible fashion retailer,” says Hazel Pillay, general manager of Pick n Pay Clothing. 


The newly revamped Pick n Pay Clothing stores include a “Green is our new favourite colour” design, floor-to-ceiling plant walls and informative posters. The new design principle has fully incorporated environmentally friendly materials. 

The Blue Route Mall store revamp was completed in 2021 as a pilot to test the new sustainable design. “This is the new blueprint for all our clothing stores moving forward,” confirms Pillay. 

Green building standards 

The store interior has been redesigned to meet global green building standards: 

  • Most fixtures are from recycled materials. 
  • A total of 90% of the project contract value is represented by materials and products manufactured locally. 
  • The stores have new lighting and energy-efficient technology to minimise the energy consumption. 
  • Building energy-management systems reduced the store’s electricity consumption by nearly 10% in five months. 
  • A total of 80% of all stores have been fitted with lithium battery solutions as a more sustainable option during loadshedding, with the rest of the stores planning to have these soon. 

Pick n Pay Clothing’s shift to green enhances the company’s environmental, social and governance targets, which include reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Pillay concludes: “We aim to reach five-star Green Star performance levels very soon, as we have already made significant improvements and found smarter, more environmentally friendly ways of designing our new and existing stores.” 

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https://gbcsa.org.za/ for the information in this editorial. 

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