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Italy – Gucci introduces new sustainable luxury material DEMETRA developed in-house

Florence,
June 2021

Gucci has revealed a new innovative indigenously developed material ‘Demetra’, that claims to be entirely sustainable, along with being a substance of quality, softness, durability, and scalability with an eco-friendly ethos. The three sneaker models, Gucci Basket, Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton are the first Gucci products made with Demetra, including the majority of the upper and part of the linings. They are animal-free and other components contain organic cotton, recycled steel, and recycled polyester. The Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton models are available in Gucci stores and online now, and the Gucci Basket from 18 June 2021. Further sneaker models and other product categories using Demetra will follow soon.  Demetra patent and trademark applications have been filed.

Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci said, “Demetra offers our industry an easily scalable, alternative choice and a more sustainable material that also answers the needs of animal-free solutions.” Three days ago, Gucci had published its First Impact Report, which records the progress made in decreasing its footprint, where it has surpassed its environmental reduction target four years early. A detailed press release answers a few questions about Demetra.

What is Demetra made of?

Demetra is animal-free and uses the same expertise and processes for tanning ensuring that the overall characteristics are of the highest quality, making it soft, durable, pliable and luxurious, with an eco-friendly ethos. Demetra is primarily plant-based from sustainable, renewable, and biobased sources, containing upwards to 77% plant-based raw materials. It is made of Viscose and Wood pulp compound from sustainably managed forest sources, Biobased polyurethane, from renewable sources. Other compounds that are needed to guarantee quality and aesthetics have been kept at a bare minimum, whereby there is continuous research to replace them with more sustainable elements

What are all the sustainability elements for Demetra in relation to fabric and processes?
Demetra is produced with intentionally chosen raw materials and processes aiming for the lowest environmental impact, including:

Raw materials: animal-free and primarily made from sustainable, renewable and bio-based raw materials, equaling up to 77% plant-based. Manufacturing process: efficient and minimizes waste, and adheres to Kering’s Sustainability Standards:

  • Made in Italy, Demetra’s manufacturing minimizes the unusable parts of the material and reduces waste from cutting
  • The tannery adheres to the internationally recognized Environmental, Health & Safety ISO Standard and uses green electricity for its processes. The tanning process also does not use heavy metal and it is aligned with the Kering Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (https://vendorportal.kering.com/attach/mrsl/MRSL.pdf)
  • Demetra scraps during manufacturing will be upcycled through an extension of its Gucci-Up program.
  • As part of Gucci’s carbon neutral commitment, any remaining greenhouse gas emissions associated with Demetra are translated into protecting and restoring forests and biodiversity
  • Gucci is conducting a third-party Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the associated impacts on the environment throughout Demetra’s life cycle. The LCA will also allow Gucci to define its impacts (greenhouse gas emissions, water use, air and water pollution, waste and land use) based on Kering’s Environmental Profit and Loss methodology and compare Demetra with other materials. Gucci looks forward to sharing these findings.

Will Demetra replace leather at Gucci?  How will it be used?
Demetra is another offering from Gucci and it will not replace leather. It provides animal-free options and the will be incorporated across our collections – whether as entire products or as part of a product,for all categories of products, including footwear, accessories and handbags, and apparel.

How is Demetra different than other current materials innovation?
Unlike the majority of new materials being developed there are no impediments to scalability or limitations on volume. Demetra combines existing and widely available raw materials, with a tanning process that has already been used by the industry, it can be available quickly in large volumes. The quality of Demetra is at a very high level.

When will Gucci share Demetra with the fashion industry?
During the initial phase, Gucci will first offer Demetra to the brands under its parent company Kering and will then offer Demetra more widely to the industry from the beginning of 2022. One of the benefits of Demetra is the ability to customize the material with exclusive finishing, so as to meet the requirements of brand differentiation and also a brand’s design codes.

Where is Demetra made?

Demetra is the result of 2-years of research and development with Gucci’s own technicians and artisans. Demetra is Made in Italy at Gucci’s factory Gruppo Colonna based in Tuscany.  As a joint venture with Gucci since October 2019, the House owns 51% of Gruppo Colonna. 

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