Join us to discover Selfridges London’s Good Nature window displays, all made with the Earth in mind

Words: Chekii Harling

With the helping hand of local artists, fashion designers and makers, our Windows team has transformed the windows at Selfridges London into a homage to the natural world. Yet it’s not just the colour palette that’s channelling green, but the earth-conscious materials and processes used to bring the Good Nature window displays to life. From the moulded holds on the climbing wall crafted from cow’s milk proteins by artist Tessa Silva to a patchwork tent, discarded at a music festival and brought back to life by fashion designer, and Selfridges Bright New Thing Chloe Baines – there’s eco-innovation far and wide. 

Read on to discover more about the verdant ideas behind the windows and the creatives behind the project, and to meet our Production Manager, Emily Outhwaite.


From the wall covered in real dried grass to moss sourced locally from Flourish in south London, the Good Nature windows bring the outside in. Just take the tent in Window 14, tie-dyed with vegetable-based dyes and embellished with dried flowers sourced from Me & My Bloomers, while the wood used throughout the displays is from certified, responsibly managed forests and much of it recycled from previous builds. For the climbing wall installation, our Windows team worked with a natural cork fabric sourced from Puretree Cork in Devon and has been covered in moulded holds crafted using cow’s milk proteins by Tessa Silva – an artist who has focused on exploring this natural byproduct of the dairy industry for the last five years with the help of a small organic dairy farm in Sussex. 


As with everything in the realm of sustainability, creative collaboration is key. To mark the launch of our Good Nature theme, we called upon members of the Selfridges family and sustainability specialists to develop innovative solutions. For the maze in Window 4, we teamed up with artist Charlotte Kidger to design this sculptural structure using industrial waste materials, while the south London-based creative Laura Nelson was our go-to for displays featuring recycled precious metals. Charlie Whinney handled the wooden sculptures, which were crafted using ash wood sourced from dead trees near his studio in Cumbria, while paper artist Samantha Quinn recreated nature’s fluid forms using paper from certified, responsibly managed forests and non-toxic adhesives. 


If it’s not broken, don’t fix it we say – which is why we’ve opted for recycled materials and raided the Selfridges props archive for our Good Nature windows – with many bits and pieces repurposed from previous displays from Christmas to Project Earth. Our Windows team used 100% recycled polyester paracord and sourced second-hand display items on resale websites.  

What inspired the Selfridges London Good Nature window displays?

We were inspired by the great outdoors and how nature has the power to heal us all. Having been stuck inside for so long during the lockdown, we want the window displays to reconnect people with nature and mirror that sense of escapism. We began by looking at the different ways we access nature and the pleasure it brings, especially over the last year – from extreme sports to foraging and camping. 

How did the Selfridges windows team work to ensure the displays were created with the Earth in mind?

As a team, we worked collectively on the design, production, and dressing of the windows to carefully curate builds that put our sustainability commitments at the forefront. We aimed to reduce waste wherever possible and collaborated with several creatives who are exploring more sustainable methods and materials through their work.

What to you are the most exciting, recycled materials used in the displays?

Charlotte Kidger’s use of industrial waste is a really exciting concept to me. It shows that you can take otherwise discarded materials and transform them into something of aesthetic value through innovative design. Her pieces have so much textural interest! 

We want the window displays to reconnect people with nature and mirror that sense of escapism and pleasure that so many of us have found by spending more time outside.

In general, how is the Selfridges Windows team designing for a more sustainable future?

The designs are always heavily informed by materials and processes to make sure that this is translated into the final builds. We often reuse materials from previous displays and collaborate with creatives – such as the artist Tessa Silva – who are exploring sustainability through their work.

Which personally is your favourite window display and why?

Gosh! This is a really tough question – we were just discussing this yesterday as a team. So many of the windows have such great stories behind them but if I had to pick, I would say ‘The Walled Garden’. The bespoke shelving piece was made especially for us by the sculptor Charlie Whinney. The ash wood used to produce this was sourced from a woodland local to Charlie in Cumbria – the trees had come down due to ash dieback disease, so it was saved from becoming firewood.

How would you describe the Selfridges London Good Nature windows?

I would describe these windows as uplifting, adventurous, and natural. Uplifting, because the sets are fun, fresh, and bright. Adventurous, because the displays nod to the outdoor pursuits we have all found pleasure in recently and we have been adventurous in the use of materials and makers who have come together to produce these sets. And finally, natural, in our use of materials and to symbolise the Good Nature theme.

What do you hope that passers-by take away from the displays?

Pleasure, escapism, and a renewed sense of optimism for the future.


Find out the story behind our nature-inspired theme and listen to the new pleasure-seeking podcast series here.