By Chere Di Boscio
So, you probably already know that PPR, aka the Gucci Group, has gone green. But nothing says ‘we’re serious about the environment’ more than applying eco-principles to one of your biggest selling designs–in Gucci’s case, the iconic Jackie bag.
The company created a special edition of the bag to call attention to the plight of the Brazilian rainforests, which are being devastated by cattle ranching for increased global demand for beef, and of course, also for leather. The skin trade is a lucrative market for ranchers: Brazil, along with animal-unfriendly China, is the world’s largest exporter of tanned leather and supplies much of the European luxury market. Sure, your Vuitton suitcase or Prada loafers may be stamped Made in France or Made in Italy, but chances are almost certain the leather originated from China or Brazil.
With this special edition of Gucci‘s iconic Jackie bag, the company aims not only to highlight the dangers that face the world’s forests, which are increasingly important for absorbing ever-rising carbon monoxide emissions, but also the fact that PPR and the companies within the group are committed to using only leather that derives from sustainable ranches that are inspected regularly to ensure the humane treatment of their animals.
The bag was introduced by Colin Firth’s wife Livia, Observer journalist Lucy Siegle and Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani at a panel discussion at the Brazilian embassy in Paris this Paris Fashion Week to announce the translation of Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge, into handbags.
To ensure its authenticity as a bag that is certified free from deforestation, the new Jackie bag comes with its own passport.
It may seem like a small gesture, but in the fashion world, where suppliers and techniques are often a closely guarded secret, this move towards ethics and transparency of suppliers by Gucci is big news, especially since the luxury market is currently the key growth area in the fashion industry.
“This is the future of quality fashion and credible brands,” said Livia Firth in an interview with the Observer. “Taking responsibility for the supply chain from beginning to end. I think that’s a beautiful thing.”
To listen to PPR’s CEO, Francois-Henri Pinault, talk about the brand’s move towards sustainability, click here.