CHIME FOR CHANGE
We believe that connection empowers us. That every voice matters. That each one of us is needed to achieve change. We believe we can do extraordinary things when we come together.
Because none of us can move forward if half of us are held back.
We encourage our employees to advocate for the values and causes that we, as a company, stand for. We intend to use our collective strength and network of communities worldwide to spread virally our call to action.
This is why in 2013 Gucci founded the global campaign CHIME FOR CHANGE with Salma Hayek Pinault and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
The campaign’s mission is clear: to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women around the world, with a focus on Education, Health and Justice.
We are delighted that to date the campaign has raised $10 million to support 420 projects with 153 partners in 88 countries.
CHIME FOR CHANGE’s support has already directly benefited more than 400,000 girls and women, and reached nearly three million family and community members.
The work continues, through a coalition of partner organisations, including Founding Partners the Kering Foundation, Hearst Magazines, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
For International Women’s Day 2018, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE worked with artist and poet Cleo Wade, bringing the first of a series of exclusive artworks to give voice to our message of gender equality. Cleo is also the first of the Gucci Voices of Self-Expression.
ARTOLUTION & CHIME FOR CHANGE
GUCCI AND CHIME FOR CHANGE PARTNER WITH ARTOLUTION TO FOSTER EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE THROUGH SELF-EXPRESSION AND GENDER EQUITY
#GucciArtWall: the House dedicates its global murals to ARTOLUTION on World Refugee Day, June 20
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE are proud to announce a new partnership with ARTOLUTION to help bring public arts programming to refugee and vulnerable communities around the world.
Over the course of the next three years, these programmes will directly impact the lives of thousands of women, children and families from socially excluded and displaced communities, with interactive art projects to promote reconciliation, healing and inclusion. The partnership aims to foster empowerment and social justice through self-expression and gender equity.
ARTOLUTION is a non-profit, international, community-based public art organization founded in 2009 by artists Joel Bergner and Max Frieder. It is dedicated to promoting positive social change through creative, participatory and collaborative art-making in distressed communities.
Through the making of murals and interactive sculptures, displaced and traumatised people learn empowerment through self-expression. ARTOLUTION has worked in communities across 30 countries, implementing over 400 projects, most recently in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.
To coincide with World Refugee Day on 20th June, Gucci is dedicating its global ArtWalls to ARTOLUTION,, which specialises in visual public art mediums such as mural art and community sculpture (though many of its projects also include elements of performance such as dance, theatre and music).
In New York, London, Milan, Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Gucci ArtWalls have been given over to ARTOLUTION to replicate community artworks that have been created around the world.
In this way, Gucci is aiming to spread awareness of ARTOLUTION’s work and the determination and spirit of the women, children and families being helped by its programs.
As with previous ArtWall projects, the Gucci App offers the possibility to scan the ArtWalls and obtain details about the murals and what they represent.
Joel Bergner said: ‘We believe that the process of creating collaborative art is a powerful tool to bring diverse communities together in the face of conflict and social turmoil in order to address challenges that they face.
ARTOLUTION projects engage women, youth and communities that have faced social exclusion and trauma, including refugees, street youth, the incarcerated, people with physical and mental disabilities, and young people living in areas of violent conflict or extreme poverty.’
Max Frieder said: ‘We focus on cultivating ongoing community-based public arts programmes by educating local artists and teachers globally on how to transform their communities through inspiring public engagement, creative facilitation and cooperative participation.
Through these locally-led programmes, we believe this work is the next phase in the history of the arts and education in emergencies, conflicts and crises. Children and families are able to tell their stories through their own hands to their communities and to the world, this is the core of ARTOLUTION.’
Gucci Artwall New York:
Lafayette Street, between Prince Street and Spring Street. The original artwork was created in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2016. Children and adolescents at an orphanage in Johannesburg worked together to create a giant mural on the exterior wall of their centre. The group chose to paint supportive people in their lives, along with a mosaic of cultural symbols representing pan-African unity.
The central image features a woman surrounded by clouds, in which each child wrote their dreams for the future, and their “superpowers”, or special talents. Lead artist: Joel Artista. Project Partners: The Adding Color to Lives initiative with Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Sophie Kanza Foundation, and the 5 Cees Orphanage.
Gucci Artwall London:
Just off East London’s famous Brick Lane. The original artwork was created in Amman, Jordan, in 2017. Syrian refugee girls and Jordanian girls of all ages came together to create this massive mural in the entrance to their school, a project that focused on reducing tensions and promoting social cohesionbetween these two groups.
ARTOLUTION artists guided them through the process of designing and painting artwork that reflected the bonds thatbrought them together, symbolised by an image of pouring tea in reference to hospitality. Lead artists: Joel Artista and Max Frieder. Project Partners: ARTOLUTION, The German Development Agency (GIZ), the Qudra Program, the European Union, and the Mawada Initiative.
Gucci Artwall Milan:
Largo la Foppa, in the district of Corso Garibaldi. The original artwork was created in Washington, D.C., America, in2016. This community mural project was part of a series that took place in some of the most turbulent areas of South East Washington, D.C.
The programme brought together youth from various neighbourhoods, in order to address important issues such as gender equity, gang violence and gentrification. Lead artist: Max Frieder. Project Partner: DC Levee.
Gucci Artwall Hong Kong:
D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. The original artwork was created in Alice Springs, Australia, in 2017. ARTOLUTION has led a series of projects with Aboriginal communities in the Central Desert of Australia, through which residents of all ages work together to celebrate their culture and encourage healthy relationships.
For this mural, the elders told traditional stories to children and teenagers in their community, who were then inspired to create artwork focusing on significant animals in their culture. Lead artists: Joel Artista and Max Frieder. Project Partners: ARTOLUTION, The Baker Institute, Tangentyere.
Gucci Artwall Shanghai:
Fengsheng Li, Jingan district. The original artwork was created in Central Valley, California, America, in 2016. Children, teens and adults in the Central Valley of California, an economically depressed region comprised of many diverse migrant workers and agricultural communities, designed and painted a series of murals featuring themes of hope, resilience and community pride.
In this mural, a farm worker reaches out his hand as a tree grows out of it, symbolising the connection between local residents and the natural environment. Behind him are fields, where participants painted images of what they would like to see grown and nurtured in their community – not only crops, but also quality education, peace, healthy families and positive relationships. Lead artists: Artolution co-founder and co-director Joel Bergner collaborated with local artist Richard Gomez. Project Partners: UC Merced, Planada School District.
I was a Sari
Metamorphosis in Mumbai.
Gucci has come together with I was a Sari in order to change the lives of talented women in Mumbai.
When he entered the workshop of a sari dealer in an old market in Mumbai, Stefano Funari realised he had come across the definition of the circular economy. From floor to ceiling the shop was packed with saris in every colour, condition and fibre. All were waiting for a second chance in life. Stefano was convinced that with this fabric supply he could work on textile projects with vulnerable and disadvantaged women from the Mumbai area.
The women, he believed, could add even more value, making unique and very beautiful textile products, through the process known as upcycling.
There was a need for change. The previous projects he’d witnessed offered tailoring training to women, but the women, while talented, were not reaching the standards they really needed to enter the professional garment market.
From traditional communities they struggled to balance their desire to learn and train with their responsibilities at home. He asked himself how he could change this cycle, coming up with a different model for women in these circumstances to give them regular income, dignity and access to opportunity.
I was a Sari was born. In 2013 with the support of Fashion in Process, a research collective within the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano University and in collaboration with local NGOs working in communities in the Mumbai district, the first group of women began their training in reconditioning and upcycling saris. By 2016 more than 40 artisans were fulfilling orders on time and of quality.
This is a carefully calibrated programme, taking place in five working centres across Mumbai. The spaces are safe places for women, run by women. They are places where women can flourish. But the project reached a crossroads. The question needed to be asked: could it scale?
The Gucci component.
In 2017 the relationship with Gucci was formed in order to allow I was a Sari to do just this. The Gucci team realised that by applying high level embroidery techniques and working with Gucci’s major embroidery houses, the sari, a garment synonymous with repurposing, could be given new value in the global fashion market.
However the embroidery industry in India at this level is dominated by men, traditional ‘kaarigars’. Up until now women have been excluded.
This is particularly true of aari, an embroidery technique that creates an extraordinarily beautiful and intricate relief on fabric. It is technically challenging to master, not least because embroiderers work stitches rapidly on to material held by a frame and cannot see the design as they work.
It requires a blend of instinct and technical prowess. Time and time again we have been told women cannot accomplish this technique.
On behalf of the women training to be artisans, together I was a Sari and Gucci have challenged this prejudice head on. In four of Gucci’s major partner export houses, women from two local NGOs, Community Outreach Programme and Animedh Charitable Trust, have completed their initial training, including in aari. Furthermore, the male artisans have become teachers to the women students.
This has allowed Gucci’s export houses, not only to train women but to begin changing the minds of the society and community, in favour of female empowerment.
They will now go on to apply their skills to produce the first capsule collection.
A project with true change at its heart:
Through our CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, Gucci demonstrates every day that none of us can move forward if half of us are held back. We believe that by working together, we can change the course of history to create a future of gender equality.
And now, through I Was a Sari, it is clear that a programme for doing good can also be ambitious. I Was a Sari now intends to scale from 70 women artisans to hundreds of women who can work with the project.
Gucci supports that ambition. Most importantly this is a programme that has been built around the women so it is centred on their needs and requirements.
It takes a unique partnership to keep the needs of the female artisans in balance with the requirements of the luxury fashion industry. We call that Gucci Equilibrium.
BeyGOOD / UNICEF Initiative
CHIME FOR CHANGE is a proud founding partner of the BEYGOOD4BURUNDI initiative. This is a multi-year partnership to provide safe water to the most vulnerable children in Burundi, known as the Heart of Africa.
It was born in 2017 when Beyoncé Knowles-Carter partnered with UNICEF through her BeyGOOD philanthropic arm. We are honoured to support.
In 2017, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter partnered with UNICEF through her BeyGOOD philanthropic arm to launch BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, a multi-year partnership to provide safe water to the most vulnerable children in Burundi, which is known as the “Heart of Africa”.
This is a crucial issue. Globally, girls and women spend around 200 million hours every day gathering water. Without water close to home, girls across Burundi often miss out on a chance to go to school because they are walking long distances to collect water.
The journey is not always safe, and many girls are at risk of attack. When girls don’t have to walk for hours to collect safe water, they are able to go to school.
When that school has clean toilets, they don’t have to skip class when they have their period. For many girls, access to safe water and basic toilets is the foundation for equality.
UNICEF Girls’ Empowerment
Empowering adolescent young women.
Gucci is a founding member of UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative. This helps UNICEF reach more than 200,000 girls.
This work focuses on innovative solutions to advance measurable progress in girls’ rights and well-being across thematic programme areas, such as health, education, social protection, water and sanitation.
It’s exciting and it’s important. Empowering adolescent young women and supporting them to reach their full potential is not only the right thing to do, it is critical to sustainable, peaceful economic development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the globally agreed timetable for peace and prosperity.
With Oxfam Italia, working in South Africa, we have helped to train 110 women in entrepreneurship. We’ve also supported the establishment of three women’s cooperatives in traditional craft and waste collection, benefitting 152 women.
The female cooperative is an important model. It makes profit and social change simultaneously. It’s a structure in which women can flourish.
Local Initiatives in Italy
Gucci became the first luxury fashion brand to join Parks – Liberi e Uguali. This underscores our passionate commitment to inclusion and respect in our industry, and beyond to wider society. Parks, non-profit-making organisation is named for Rosa Parks, the great American civil rights activist.
Members are all employers like us, and the organisation brings us training, events organisation and internal surveys to make sure that we have the right framework and strategies to carry through our values and to respect diversity throughout our company.
In September 2017 Gucci hosted the sixth LGBT People at Work Conference.
Festival dei Popoli
We are always looking for ways that we can help our Gucci employees engage with critical social issues. Documentary film is a medium that speaks to us all. In 2016 we sponsored the Festival dei Popoli, an internationally renowned documentary festival showcasing important work on social issues including diversity, inclusion, gender and empowerment.
We screened the documentary Un Altro Me (by Claudio Casazza), which focuses on violence against women.
In 2017 we sponsored the Festival dei Popoli for the second year in a row, screening Gigi Gorgeous, a documentary focusing on LGBT inclusion, in association with Parks – Free and Equal.
Gucci is committed to overturning gender imbalance and inequality. We simply don’t think this happens by standing by passively waiting for change. That’s why Gucci is a member of Valore D. This represents the first association formed in Italy of large companies that directly supports female leadership in the corporate world and getting more women into the highest ranks of government and business.
We are interested in lifelong employability. We have teamed up with the project Talenti senza età (“Ageless Talents”) in cooperation with Valore D and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. Gucci is committed to championing the potential of women in their middle-late careers (50-65 years).
In November 2017, during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Gucci hosted an artistic performance based on the theme of sex trafficking, organised by the non-for-profit organisation BEAWARENOW.
Gucci is a member of the Sodalitas Foundation. This is an organisation that acts as a bridge between companies and NGOs and points everyone in the same direction: to improve social cohesion in Italy.
In 2011 Gucci signed the Charter on Equal Opportunities and Equality at work, pledging to respect the principles of equal dignity and treatment at work for employees.
D.i.R.e. (Donne in Rete contro la violenza)
We have taken action to combat domestic violence. Within the company, we have trained in Italy 160 Gucci ambassadors against domestic violence in cooperation with The National Association D.i.R.e (Women’s Network against violence) the first Italian Association of independent women’s centres and shelters against violence.
Initiatives for the Environment
To increase awareness of our collective environmental footprint, Gucci organised a “Corporate Forestation Day” in Milan, in conjunction with Rete Clima®, a non-profit organization for the promotion of sustainability and the fight against climate change. More 250 trees have been planted between 2016 and 2017 by our environmental ambassadors.
We have also worked with Treedom, an organization dedicated to reforestation programmes within developing countries.
In 2017 Gucci gifted 500 trees to Gucci store managers.