Italian luxury brand, Gucci has been around for many decades. It is also one of the most coveted luxury brands in the world, and renowned for fashion, jewelry, and leather goods. Additionally, Gucci’s contribution to the fashion industry is phenomenal since the brand has made great strides in durability and recycling. But is Gucci considered a fast fashion brand? No, it isn’t. Read on to find out more about the brand’s sustainability practices.
Is Gucci Fast Fashion?
No. Gucci is not a fast fashion brand. It doesn’t follow the practices that make brands fast fashion. Additionally, the brand boasts an ability for creating timeless pieces that can be worn for years rather than just for one season, ensuring you ace your style.
Furthermore, Gucci has broken away from a minimalist aesthetic and makes pieces that are harder to replicate, and cost more. This goes against everything that fast fashion brands stand for, which is mass production, easily replicable designs, and cheap manufacturing.
There’s no denying that most luxury fashion brands haven’t been one and the same with ecological considerations. However, Gucci has prioritized sustainable fashion and is devoted to reducing the environmental impact on the environment, especially through their leather tanning processes. But we also have to ask the question, how sustainable is Gucci? How is it affecting the environment, people, animals, and the planet? Continue reading to find out.
1) Environmental Impact
How ethical is Gucci? Gucci’s CEO outlined the brand’s plans to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025. This is done by reducing the use of energy consumption, water, the production of waste, and the use of hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process. Additionally, their Culture of Sustainability initiatives are aimed at targeting three pillars including people, innovation, and environment.
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Additionally, the initiative also aims to identify and assess both indirect and direct economic and social effects coming from Gucci’s entire supply chain. The call to action for the improvement and preservation of support for people and the environment guarantees sustainability and traceability of at least 95% of its raw materials. For instance, the “scrap-less” program is meant to significantly reduce the amount of leather that goes through the tanning treatment process.
To remain sustainable, Gucci uses eco-friendly materials like organic, recycled, and sustainably sourced materials. This can be seen in their circular line “Gucci of The Grid” where all their materials are recycled. Furthermore, the genderless collection is exclusively made from recycled steel, and organic cotton geared toward sustainable fashion.
So whether you want to find something to match the green pants you never wore, or buy a new outfit from these lines, you can rest assured they are sustainable. Gucci has also implemented its carbon footprint via its carbon offsetting projects which are aimed at reducing emissions from forest degradation and deforestation.
Reducing their environmental footprint helps to protect wildlife, and their habitat, and conserve the environment. Furthermore, it also creates a positive change in economic and social positions for the local communities. These steps in the right direction, are more than what most luxury brands are doing to conserve the environment. Additionally, Gucci’s efforts have promoted circularity and reduced waste within its supply chain.
2) Animal Wellbeing
Gucci still uses fur and leather in many of its goods. However, it is making progress in that sector. Granted, the brand still uses leather, wool from sheep that aren’t mulesed in the shearing process, and exotic animal hair. Regardless, the brand bans the use of exotic animal skin, fur, or angora. For its supply chain, Gucci has started to trace the animal products to their source to ensure animal welfare.
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This ensures that the animals are ethically sourced, and are in a good state of welfare, unlike fast fashion companies that don’t bother to check. While this high-end luxury brand strives to use less animal-derived materials, their use of python and crocodile skins puts a dent in their animal welfare and conservation efforts. However, they are still better than other high-end brands that unethically use animals and their products in their supply chains.
Gucci’s auditing supply chain including all its final stages of production is certified by Social Accountability International. Of course, the brand scored a 41-50% on the Fashion Transparency Index, and it also discloses some information about its supply chain, remediation processes, supplier policies, and audits.
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The brand disclosed its policies about Covid-19 to protect the workers and suppliers in its supply chain. While this is a step in the right direction, the brand doesn’t divulge the wages of its supply chain labor. This raises issues especially since most high-end brands don’t disclose the wages they pay for labor in their manufacturing supply chains due to poor conditions.
4) Sustainability Reporting
Gucci was one of the first companies in the fashion industry that aligned itself towards Corporate Social Responsibility. The brand is committed to maintaining good practices and cultivating a culture of sustainable fashion. Additionally, they are also geared towards raising awareness within the Gucci system, which includes all parties with a sound interest like local communities, employees, and shareholders.
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Consequently, this brand keeps track of its environmental impact and passes its yearly profit and loss report through scrutiny. During an 8-year partnership production cycle, Gucci contributed $10 million to UNICEF to help improve underprivileged children’s lives.
Additionally, there has been a reduction in the environmental impact that Gucci has made. For instance, the brand has regenerated about 307 tons of textile waste with its partnership with Greenline. They have also worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 37%. This ensure quality products, and might explain why Gucci is an expensive brand
Any Unethical Practices?
While Gucci is off to a good start and is far better than most other luxury brands, we can’t deny that some of its unethical practices might still have a negative impact on local communities. For instance, in 2011 Chinese workers from their flagship store in Shenzhen, China reported alleged mistreatment. They worked 14-hour shifts and weren’t allowed to sit.
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Additionally, they also had to ask for permission to eat their lunch, and each toilet break was limited to only 5 minutes. Not to mention the workers were forced on unpaid overtime. Gucci has also been on the spot for employing Chinese immigrants in Italy and they have been treated harshly. Additionally, they are also paid low wages, which is a violation of human rights, and they fall short on that front.
Many Gucci products are known to be tested on animals. This brings into question their ethics concerning animal welfare. Banning fur might be a step in the right direction, but testing products with toxic chemicals on animals is cruel. Not forgetting that Gucci doesn’t mention its full animal testing policies. The lack of transparency regarding animal welfare is shady.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gucci Being a Fast Fashion Brand
i) How is Gucci ethical?
Gucci has set a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain. There has been significant progress on that front. The brand has also used low-waste cutting techniques to minimize fabric waste. Furthermore, it has put a policy in place to protect biodiversity in its supply chains.
ii) Is Gucci more sustainable than Louis Vuitton?
Yes. Gucci is by far more committed to sustainable fashion compared to Louis Vuitton. They have taken steps in the right direction to ensure that people, animals, and the environment are protected. However, they are not yet there. Louis Vuitton on the other hand, is not committed to sustainability practices, and any sustainable practices have been minimal.
iii) How is Gucci different from fast fashion brands?
Any Gucci product is well-made with a focus on quality, attention to detail, and exceptional craftsmanship. Additionally, it is harder to replicate Gucci’s style, since it takes money and time, which is the opposite of what fast fashion brands stand for. Furthermore, Gucci only makes a few pieces yearly compared to mass production.
The Bottom Line
Gucci is not a fast fashion brand. But it is a luxury brand that’s headed in the right direction when it comes to sustainability. Of course, Gucci shoppers expect much from the brand they prefer to shop in, and easily replicable fast fashion trends are not it. Before shopping from high-end luxury brands, it is important to consider their sustainability practices and good production methods.
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