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Gucci Doesn’t Want to Leave a Carbon Footprint

Arguably one of the biggest fashion enterprises right now, the Gucci empire has recently announced their intentions to rapidly reduce their carbon footprint. Gucci’s heavy influence in pop culture as well as its rebranding to target millennials resulted in the brand doubling its sales in 2018. As songs like Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” went viral and celebrities including the Kardashians posted pictures sporting the brand’s luxurious streetwear, Gucci exploded and became a household name. For the first time in the company’s 98-year history, it is attempting to appeal to a younger, more progressive generation. From a marketing standpoint, it only seems appropriate that Gucci is taking initiatives to be more environmentally responsible to appeal to these “woke” young adults.

CEO Marco Bizzarri declared his intentions last week to transform the company into being entirely carbon neutral; his objective is to eliminate the same amount of carbon dioxide from the environment that is produced by Gucci. In order to do this, all of Gucci’s carbon dioxide production will be balanced through the purchase of carbon offset “credits.” Carbon offset credits are investments in carbon reduction projects to compensate for the emissions made elsewhere. These credits will help fund organizations that work to improve the environment through the planting of trees, the filtering of the atmosphere, and research about renewable energy sources. An estimated 90 percent of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions occur throughout its supply chain (from locating raw materials, tanneries, and cleaning fabrics), which is why Gucci is taking steps at every level to understand and reduce the damage. 

Gucci has become increasingly focused on their environmental objectives in the past few years. From banning PVC pipes in 2015 and real fur in 2018, the brand has recently developed a 10-year sustainability plan to help fight climate change. The company also joined 32 other companies in August — including Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen — in signing the Fashion Pact, which pledged to promote the use of renewable energy sources and to actively reduce pollution. For Gucci’s presentation at the Spring 2020 Milan Fashion Week, the company utilized recycled materials for invitations, jewelry, and other accessories. 

In a press release, Bizzari stated, “A new era of corporate accountability is upon us and we need to be diligent in taking all steps to mitigate our impacts.” He admitted that the ultimate way to reduce emissions would be to close the company, but because this is unthinkable they are instead taking conscious efforts to be more responsible about their carbon footprint. 

Fortunately, the proliferation of this brand through the media and pop culture may serve as a platform to inspire America’s youth to be more environmentally responsible. Perhaps Gucci hypebeasts and Instagram influencers could be the key to promoting brand responsibility and reduction of carbon emissions.

Claire Lempert

Columbia Barnard '23

is a sophomore at Barnard studying economics, psychology, and English. She loves exploring NYC, running, writing, and creating dioramas.
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