Gucci's Luxury Packaging Gets a Green(er) Makeover

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We have been following Rainforest Action Network's (RAN) "Don't Bag Indonesia's Rainforests" campaign since its inception and it continues to reach new heights in the fight against the pulp and paper industry; Over 20 leading fashion brands including Valentino, Versace, and Prada have taken action against deforestation in Indonesian forests--driven by top fashion brands' demand for custom packaging--and now Gucci has kept their word (following their pledge back in November to reduce paper use) and announced yesterday that all of their luxury packaging has been newly designed with FSC Certified paper and is now 100% recyclable. And that's not all, click through for more on the luxury brand's environmental initiatives.

The newly designed luxury packaging has undergone a major transformation. According to the press release, the bags, boxes, and tissue paper no longer have plastic laminate surfaces (not uncommon in luxury packaging); ribbon and garment bags have been switched from polyester to cotton; and the bags provide transparency and read: "This shopping bag is FSC certified and made of 100% recyclable material".

The luxury brand is also cutting down on excess packaging altogether. More from the press release, below.

 "Shoes will be packed in one flannel instead of two. Gift boxes will only be given out when requested. Gucci is going to replace all of its mannequins with a new eco-friendly version, designed by Frida Giannini, made with shockproof polystyrene--a long-lasting and 100% recyclable raw material--fully made in Italy and finished with water-based paints."

Surely these efforts are applaudable, but replacing all the mannequins? We're not sure what they're planning to do with the old ones but it would make a lot more sense to hold on to them before creating and replacing more long-lasting mannequins.

Apart from packaging Gucci is pursuing energy-saving initiatives in their retail stores and also aims to reach the following targets by the end of this year: a reduction of 35 tons of plastic waste; a reduction of 1,400 tons of paper consumption; a reduction of about 10,000 tons of Co2 emissions; and a reduction of about 4 million litres of gas oil consumption.

PPR (which owns Gucci Group) chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault weighed in on customers unpreparedness to pay extra for sustainable development. In an interview with WWD, he said:

"If we wait for customers to make sustainable development a condition for purchasing, then nothing will happen. It's as if green products were somehow not normal. They are normal, it is the other products that are not normal. It's up to us to work out how to make green products the new normal."

Emma Grady
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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