“We have been working on sustainability for so long and we realised at one point that our actions needed to be better understood within and outside the company,” president and CEO Marco Bizzarri told WWD.
The website, Equilibrium.gucci.com, will be used as a communication tool for the 13,000 Gucci employees to complement a new company-wide programme that will allow every member of staff to dedicate one percent of their working time to volunteering in local communities. “If each employee is involved – bingo,” Bizzarri said. “We can’t save the world alone, but we must start from small things, and there are no shortcuts.”
The launch is part of Gucci’s 10-year sustainability plan centred around three pillars: the environment, people and innovation. Within the first pillar, it has set a target to guarantee the traceability of 95 percent of raw materials. Its “scrap-less” programme in association with its tanneries, which reduces the quantity of leather that is treated during the manufacturing process, follows the announcement in October 2017 that the house will no longer use fur in any of its collections.
Gucci’s ongoing campaign to support girls’ and women’s empowerment, diversity and inclusion through initiatives like Chime for Change has been widely publicised thanks to the work of its high-profile founders Salma Hayek and Beyoncé. Gucci Equilibrium will take the “people” focus one step further through social enterprises, such as “I was a Sari”, which sees Gucci craftsmen teach women from marginalised communities in Mumbai the skills to upcycle saris.
The third spotlight on “scouting, incubators, start-ups that can really change things” is an ongoing process with Gucci experimenting with 3D technology and the creation of new natural materials in its newly-built ArtLab. “We are not there yet,” Bizzarri asserted. Gucci is, however, making great strides to get there.