A circular transformation to become regenerative by design
Over the last years we have been focused on reducing our footprint across the supply chain through low-impact alternative and sustainable materials, while scaling up circular approaches every way we can. Our vision for the future is to move further and further away from fashion’s linear model, and to a circular one where circularity is not the exception to design and creation, but integrated as part of the process. A future where the beauty of old materials is celebrated in an everlasting cycle, and new natural resources are not a requisite for appeal and quality.
A cornerstone of our strategy to support a circular economy is linked to ramping up recycled and regenerated materials in our collections. Our focus on regeneration spans across various raw materials, including Newlife™ polyester and Re.Verso™ cashmere. This doesn’t stop at product level: we are also expanding the recycling and reuse of our plastics across our entire supply chain to avoid virgin plastic and more details can be found here. We are increasing the use of fibres and materials that are originally derived from post-industrial textile waste too, like yarn and unused fabrics.
Gucci was the first luxury brand to use ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn for its products, beginning in 2016. ECONYL® regenerated nylon is 100% obtained from pre and post-consumer waste, such as abandoned fishing nets and carpets — including plastics that harm marine life and old materials that will likely end up in landfills which will be regenerated into a new high-quality yarn.
Econyl® is the main material used in Gucci Off the Grid, the first collection in Gucci’s Circular Lines. The partnership expanded in 2018 to include a ‘GUCCI-ECONYL® PRE CONSUMER FABRIC TAKE BACK PROGRAM’ whereby our suppliers recover any ECONYL® regenerated nylon offcuts from Gucci’s production and transforms them into a new high-quality yarn. Gucci was the first luxury brand to carry out such a programme with this regenerated material.
Gucci also upcycles leather and textile offcuts created during manufacturing through the ‘Gucci-Up’ program. This led to around 22 tons of reusable leather scraps from 2018 and 2019. The initiative partners with NGOs and women-based projects for the regeneration of these offcuts, as well as with social cooperatives in Italy to support the training of people from marginalised groups and their re-integration into their communities.
As yet another upcycling project, Gucci works with Green Line, a company specializing in collecting and recycling textile scraps so that textile waste can be recovered. Since launching the partnership in 2015, 307 tons of scraps have been collected from our suppliers and 117 tons in 2019 alone. These scraps find a new life in fashion’s global supply chains.
Like our ‘Gucci-Up’ program, combining circularity and social enterprise has proved to be a success. We also partner with the Mumbai-based initiative, I was a Sari, in the mission to upcycle leftover materials to produce embroidery for the global fashion market. I was a Sari trains women in underprivileged communities around Mumbai to become world-class embroiderers and helps them gain financial independence.