Just a month after the ink dried on the G7 fashion pact Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault presented to world leaders in Biarritz last month, its marquis brand, Gucci, has gone completely carbon neutral.
Thursday, the Italian luxury brand said that it implemented manufacturing efficiencies to avoid and reduce its impact across the supply chain. It will also offset carbon emissions generated by preparations of its upcoming Spring/Summer fashion show by planting trees in Milan, a Gucci spokesperson told NOWFASHION.
“Gucci will continue to work in a smart and strategic way to avoid and reduce our impact, while simultaneously investing in innovation as a driver for sustainability,” Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a statement released Thursday. “However, in my view, this is just not enough, nor will it happen fast enough given the sustainability challenges we are up against in our industry and the reality of our global climate and biodiversity crises. To address the need for urgent solutions, Gucci is setting an ambitious new precedent through our carbon neutral commitment,” Bizzarri added.
Carbon neutrality is a term used to describe the process of eliminating carbon emissions altogether or balancing out an entity's carbon emissions by saving carbon emissions elsewhere.
Gucci explained that its “Avoid and Reduce” program includes a variety of initiatives such as outfitting its facilities with renewable energy sources, up-cycling leather and textile waste generated during manufacturing, sourcing raw materials from agricultural systems that restore soils and habitats for important biodiversity, and acquiring leather from farming systems that avoid the degradation and destruction of natural ecosystems, while regenerating soil, as well as ensuring farms are in no way linked to deforestation.
Over the past decade, Kering, Gucci’s parent company, has invested heavily in its efforts to achieve the 2025 Sustainability Strategy targets, its sustainable textiles innovation, and seeking the best practices for traceability, social compliance, environmental protection, animal welfare, and chemical use.
The environmental pact Pinault presented at the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz included 32 signatories including vanguard luxury companies Prada and Chanel, Nike, and fast fashion retailers like the H&M Group and Inditex, the parent company of Zara. It comes at a crucial moment, as the industry comes under intense fire for its negative impact on the planet. Though the pact is not legally binding, these companies agreed to a variety of targets including eliminating disposable plastic packaging by the end of the next decade.
Alessandro Michele at Gucci's Men & Women Fall/Winter 2019 runway show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.