Fashion does not have to be all about fur, as a top luxury fashion brand, Gucci, has consistently been proving. This time around, Gucci has taken its commitment to sustainability further by launching Gucci Equilibrium, a common platform ‘designed to connect people, planet and purpose’.
Equilibrium is an online platform which will augment a company-wide programme that calls for all 13000 employees to dedicate 1% of their working time to volunteering in local communities. The platform is being internally described as ‘a balance of aesthetics and ethics’.
Gucci’s 10-year sustainability plan is supported by the three pillars – the environment, people and innovation. Under the first pillar, the target is to guarantee the traceability of 95% of its raw materials. Also, helped by its tanneries, the quantity of leather used in the tanning process has been reduced.
Perhaps the most important milestone that marks Gucci’s entry into the green club was its decision to go fur-free. This policy would protect mink, coyote, racoon dog, fox, rabbit, and karakul, as well as other animals specially bred for their coats. Gucci joined the Fur-Free Alliance, a confederation consisting of various animal rights movements and conservationists. All Gucci outfits featured in the Spring Summer collection of 2018, and thereon, will be animal-friendly. Talking about the decision, CEO Marco Bizzarri had said that there was no need anymore to use fur when equally luxurious alternatives were available, thanks to technology. He expressed his wish that other high-profile fashion brands would follow suit.
Gucci has previously been involved in helping people’s lives change for the better through various schemes and initiatives. Along with the announcement to go fur-free was announced, the decision to contribute Euro 1 million as a founding partner of UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative. This was expected to reach 50000 girls directly, and another 150000, indirectly.
Another popular activity undertaken was the ‘I am Sari’ programme which sees Gucci craftsmen reaching out to the women from the marginalized communities in Mumbai and teaching them the skills and need to upcycle saris.
Recently, Gucci unveiled their hub of sustainable innovation, craftsmanship and creativity, called ArtLab. The 37000-square feet centre will be staffed by a workforce of 800 and is located outside Florence, Italy in Casellina.
The building’s outside walls are hand painted, featuring artwork by young talents who have recently worked with the house, including Unskilled Worker, Ignasi Monreal, Angelica Hicks and Coco Capitan.
Basically a lab, the house will carry out prototyping and sampling of new designs, materials, art, metal hardware and packaging. Notable though, is the use of 3D technology for the creation of new and naturals materials in ArtLab.
Gucci has done laudable work so far, in utilizing its brand to create new strides in ushering in a cleaner future. Hopefully, the other luxury fashion brands take a leaf out of Gucci’s book and interweave luxury and sustainability and join the worldwide league of future green thinkers.