How do you shop and help out people in need at the same time? Karen and I (Sherry), your Samsung Village storytellers, recently visited a place where you actually can do both at the same time: the Heartist House. It’s a fashion flagship store run by our affiliate Cheil Industries’ Fashion Division as a corporate social responsibility platform in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul, which is a rising hot spot for shopping in Korea!
The Heartist House nurtures aspiring designers and also undertakes social contribution projects through various events such as exhibitions, performances and flea markets. It sells fashion items donated from Cheil Industries’ various brands and also offers upcycled products made by young energetic designers.
The upcycled products caught our eyes because they were made through the process of converting useless products or waste materials into whole new ones with improved quality and design!
The entire proceeds from sales of clothing and fashion items at the six-story building are spent on the social contribution programs Cheil Industries carries out to help out neighbors in need. On the day we visited, we were also able to see some Cheil employees volunteering as one-day store managers, recommending products of hot deal or explaining how the shop was run.
As we looked around the building, we found various ways to help our neighbors, while fully enjoy the store itself. We’ll take you on a short goodwill shopping tour!
The building has 6 floors, and each floor has its unique concept. You’ll be able to find various products from cups made from cornstarch to latest hot fashion items. It also is an eco-friendly building from the top to bottom, helping toward reducing carbon footprint on the earth.
The bricks made back in 1940s were reused to decorate the store and you’ll also find some window frames that were also once used.
We were amazed to see that the building was also furnished with items that were once used in Cheil Industries’ other fashion stores. Due to the fast changing trends of the industry, clothing stores often need face lifts, which involve changing furniture as well. The Heartist House recycled old furniture from other stores to decorate each floor, adding a unique feel to the space. You’ll find a cashier counter made with books or even an old piano!
The building’s eco-friendliness doesn’t stop here. It has its own water supply system, which enables using less water. On each floor, you’ll find a lovely garden full of flowers and herbs to give it a taste of nature. These gardens are watered with stored rainwater and water from air conditioning.
On the roof, iron plates have been installed to collect rainwater and each floor has a facility that collects water from air conditioning. Collected water is then sent down through a pipeline to a water storage tank on the first floor, ready to be used!
“This summer, we had a plenty of water to use for the garden. With the water collected from rain and air conditioning, we were able to water the plants,” said Insoo Chang, a Senior Manager at Cheil Industries’ Corporate Culture Team.
The herbs are sold to the visitors for only 500 won each, which is worth approximately 50 cents. And the herbs are carried in “reused” cups. “We were thinking of a way to use the cups that consumers threw away in our shop, and we’ve decided to turn them into mini flower pots for the rose herbs!”
Another special feature of the building was that it only used LED light bulbs to minimize energy use. We could even hold an LED light bulb in our hands because it released less heat!
So, that was our first story featuring our visit to this store. Next time, we’ll come back with more stories on some of the innovative and goodwill products you can find in this store including the “upcycled” products! So see you again on Samsung Village for the rest of the tour!