A major recognition for the Company’s nature-positive strategy
A new vision of the supply chain that starts with the land and a collaboration symbolic of the change that is under way in fashion: this is why The Climate Change Award was presented to Gucci at the 2022 CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards ceremony, which closed Milan Fashion Week SS2023.
Organized by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI), in partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Trade and Investment Agency (Agenzia ICE) and the Municipality of Milan, the 2022 CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards recognised individuals and companies that, in the world of Italian and international fashion, stand out due to their commitment to sustainability: for their vision and innovation; promotion of the circular economy; commitment to craftsmanship; support of diversity, human rights and social justice; and fight against climate change.
Alongside two special mentions for Demetra/Gucci Off the Grid in The Groundbreaker Award category and for CHIME FOR CHANGE in The Philanthropy and Society Award category, Gucci was presented with The Climate Action Award. The Award recognizes the journey Gucci has embarked on to promote regenerative agriculture and highlighted the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program, launched by Gucci in Uruguay in collaboration with Chargeurs Luxury Fibers, one of the world’s largest wool producers. Ten agricultural companies are involved in the project, including La Soledad, headed by Gabriela Bordabehere, who joined the stage at Teatro alla Scala with Gucci’s President and CEO Marco Bizzarri to accept the Award.
“I am honored to represent the Uruguayan farmers who have committed themselves to leading the process of change, particularly women. This recognizes the work that we do every day, often living in remote areas, far from our families, to protect our region’s resources. We have inherited this land from our ancestors, and we have to pass it on to our children in the same way”
Defying the traditional prejudices linked to sheep farming in the region, land of the legendary gaucho, that it is strictly work that only men can do, Gabriela took the reins of her husband’s company at the age of 40, determined to lead it into the future. La Soledad has since become a model farm, optimizing the benefits of regenerative agriculture, not only for the region but also for the local communities.
Working with Nature with NATIVA™
Gucci’s commitment to regenerative agriculture has already resulted in positive impacts on the region and in the community. Thanks to the collaboration with Chargeurs Luxury Fibers, the farmers in the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program receive financial support that is fundamental during the period needed to transition to regenerative practices, which, in turn, promotes soil health, increases biodiversity and supports animal welfare. This support has positive effects throughout the rural communities involved in the project: on top of the 150 agricultural workers, it benefits their families and the surrounding communities, with a direct impact on 200 people and an indirect impact on 450. This in turn has had a ripple effect, with better access to education, increased use of renewable energy and support for women in the community. Furthermore, a program has been set up to reintroduce native woodland to the farms’ surrounding countryside, including La Soledad, which provides a home to new woodland fauna, as well as a program to monitor Uruguay’s bird populations, which are cornerstones of the country’s rich animal diversity.
Thanks to the collaboration of Chargeurs Luxury Fibers in the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program, Gucci is helping to pioneer a new way of farming in these regions and supporting the farming community, with the possibility of becoming a standard in the production of regenerative raw materials for use in Gucci’s own collections: in this case, wool. With the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program – which covers an area of more than 100,000 hectares – Gucci will receive an initial quantity of 50 tons of wool every year starting from January 2023 and for an initial period of four years. The wool will be used in Gucci’s collections over the next few seasons, contributing to a significant increase of its sustainably sourced wool, attaining 50% from 38% in 2021.
Supporting Regenerative Agriculture Past, Present, Future
Gucci has been funding regenerative agriculture projects related to cattle, sheep and goat farming in the expansive pastures of Montana and Patagonia since 2020, and has taken another step forward with this project, resulting in a direct impact in its own supply chain. By collaborating directly with the main players in the supply chain – farmers and processors – through regenerative agriculture projects, Gucci is investing in a deeper level of traceability. From the sowing of crops and animal grazing to the creation of fabrics, there is a direct knowledge of all phases of production. This is an example of how Gucci ensures that the entire supply chain benefits from more sustainable yarn and turns its suppliers into strategic partners.
“Sustainability is a path we have been following for some time and it has now become a mindset, an approach that characterizes our way of doing business. Today one of the projects we are supporting in Uruguay will be awarded on the regenerative agriculture front, but also in our own country, Italy, we are working to revive supply chains that had been almost completely lost, such as cotton and silk, while also supporting the communities that are reviving these practices.”
In keeping with this ongoing vision of the future of luxury goods in Italy, Gucci is supporting the regeneration of farming communities that had been almost completely lost. The guiding principle of this approach is the attention to quality and detail in Gucci products, which, thanks to direct relationships with the main players in the development of these collections, extends throughout the entire production process, right from the moment when the seed is planted in the ground.