Gucci for circular economy

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. 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 27 tons of reusable leather scraps from 2018 and 2020. 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, since 2015 Gucci has been working with Green Line, a company specializing in collecting and recycling textile scraps so that textile waste can be recovered. Between 2018 to 2020 alone 290 tonnes of scraps were collected from Gucci’s suppliers.. 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.

In line with our commitments on plastics, we have launched also our ’Take Back’ programme to reuse the plastic protective boxes for our accessories.

Circularity at Gucci in numbers:
Regenerated 395 tons of textile waste with Greenline (2015-2020)
Upcycled 27 tons of leather offcuts under ‘Gucci-Up’ (2018-2020)
Avoided in 2020 one million new boxes equalling 90 tonnes of plastic with our ‘Take Back’ programme.

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