Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hold Onto Your Handbags: Gucci Goes Green!

I'm a little behind the curve, so I apologise if all you fab fashionistas know about this one already. For the rest of us, it bears repeating.
You might recall that I mentioned Javier Bardem's smooth look at the Skyfall premiere last year. The Bond villain was looking good in a Gucci tux made from organic cotton. It seems this was just the opening volley in a longer game. Gucci are working hard on their green credentials, and the first fruits of their labours was launched last week.
A new incarnation of their iconic Jackie bag has been released using leather from a deforestation-free zone in Brazil. The initiative has been put together in conjunction with the Green Carpet Challenge (yes, there's more than one campaign to get eco-luxe onto the Hollywood red carpet) launched by fashion guru Livia Firth and Guardian green correspondent Lucy Seigel. Livia worked out the supply chain, putting Gucci in touch with the ranchers whose sustainably-raised leather would make the bags.The Jackies are put together in the famous Gucci workshops in Tuscany, to exactly the same standards of craftsmanship as usual. Each one comes with its own passport guaranteeing its credentials, and showing exactly where the source material comes from.
As Lucy says in her fascinating article on the eco-Jackie and the trade in forest-unfriendly leather: this is big. We're looking at a hugely influential fashion house opening up about their supply chain in a way we simply don't see at the high-end of the market. The bags are expensive, yes. But hey, you know, Buy Less, Spend More, Choose Well. It should also be noted that a portion of profits for the bag go to the National Wildlife Foundation, who are working hard to fight deforestation in the Amazon basin, which is to a large extent caused by clear-cutting to create leather production facilities in the first place.
More like this from the luxury end of the fashion market, please. It's a real growth area, so if we see more brands embrace an open, ethical approach, we could be looking at a major change in the way clothes and accessories are manufactured. It might only look like a bag to you, but from where I'm sitting, darling, it looks like the future.

1 comment:

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