PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: 7 Eco-Friendly (and Vegan!) Alternatives to Animal Leather
GUCCI’S BETTER LEATHER
Thanks to the involvement of the National Wildlife Federation, which verified the collection’s extensive chain of custody, the bags are the world’s first leather products to earn the moniker “deforestation-free.”
The Gucci for the Green Carpet Challenge leather handbags are the world’s first to earn the moniker “deforestation-free.”
“This is a breakthrough moment for sustainable style,” Firth says. “Once again, our collaboration with Gucci spotlights this fashion house as a genuine leader. Working together to utilize on-the-ground research by the NWF means that we have created a chain of custody that brings real change to the fashion industry.”
The leather used in Gucci’s GCC collaboration hails from Fazendas São Marcelo, a group of four ranches in the Mato Grosso state in western Brazil that in 2012 became the first in the world to meet the Rainforest Alliance’s standards for sustainable cattle production, including humane treatment of livestock, conservation of natural resources and wildlife habitats, and promoting the rights and well-being of workers.
CONSERVATION IN ACTION
“This new line of Gucci for the Green Carpet Challenge bags connects consumers with rainforest conservation and best practices of cattle production in Brazil,” says Mauricio Voivodic, manager of agricultural certification at Imaflora, a partner organization in Brazil that conducted the ranch audit. “This is a very important step and demonstrates that a responsible value chain is possible for the cattle sector.”
The bags, says Firth, represent a “critical point” in our consumption of luxury.
The bags, says Firth, represent a “critical point” in our consumption of luxury. “I’ve long maintained that too many of us who love fashion are forced to consume pieces of uncertain provenance,” she says. “When it came to leather that was potentially driving the destruction of one of our most critical ecosystems, the Amazon, we didn’t see why luxury and fashion lovers needed take that chance. Together we’ve produced a range that marries ethics and glamour in the most authentic way. The GCC brand mark is a guarantor of those exacting sustainable standards.”
The collection represents a milestone for Gucci, as well. “Today more than ever before customers want to be associated with brands that are thoughtful and responsible,” says Frida Giannini, the company’s creative director. “Through our sustainability, humanitarian and philanthropic actions we would like Gucci to not just be synonymous with ‘Made in Italy,’ but also made with integrity. This project with the Green Carpet Challenge was conceived to show how we can be pro-active on environmental issues, by raising awareness and demonstrating action on the subject of deforestation.”
Now if only Gucci would provide more leather-free options.