In recent years, we are noticing luxury brands becoming more pro-active about sustainability initiatives. Whilst the industry remains far from sustainable in the pure sense of the word, steps towards sustainability by luxury brands still represent a positive change, regardless of how big or small.
The iconic Italian luxury brand Gucci has always showed its close involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility. In June 2010 the brand launched a completely new range of packaging, ideated by Frida Giannini, Gucci’s former Creative Director, that is 100% recyclable.
In all of their stores worldwide this eco-friendly packaging offers a bold new image of luxury that is sensitive to the environment and in line with Gucci’s heritage of quality and excellence.
Gone are the plastic laminated surfaces so common in fashion bags and paper. They have been replaced with the subtle luminosity of beater dyed paper, characterized by the de-bossed GG logo made famous in the 1960s. Cotton ribbons replace polyester and the paper itself is sourced only from certified forests. The Forest Stewardship Council can certify that no paper that is used by Gucci comes from an endangered forest.
This makes Gucci’s packaging 100% recyclable and therefore 100% better for the world.
The luxury brand has also cut down on excess packaging altogether. Shoes are now packed in one flannel instead of two and gift boxes are only given out when requested.
In addition to this, Gucci has replaced all of its mannequins with a new eco-friendly version, designed by Frida Giannini, made with shockproof polystyrene - a long-lasting and 100% recyclable raw material - fully made in Italy and finished with water-based paints.
Apart from packaging, Gucci is pursuing energy-saving initiatives in their retail stores and also a reduction of plastic waste, paper consumption, Co2 emissions, and gas oil consumption.
Patrizio di Marco, former Chairman and CEO of Gucci, said “The world’s leading brands are rightly judged today, not just on the quality of their products and services, but also on the way they act in the community and towards the environment. Since 2004 Gucci has volunteered for assessment to qualify for the certification of Corporate Social Responsibility across its entire supply chain.”
The actions of Gucci have matched their words. Increasingly printed materials are being replaced with e-cards and e-catalogues, and new transportation policies have reduced the use of trucks by 30%.