Regenerative fashion is the new challenge for the fashion industry.
It’s no longer about sustaining the planet as it is, but rather taking it one step further and healing it. One of the industry’s most recognized names is leading the way, and setting the standard for the future of fashion. Gucci’s latest strategy, The Natural Climate Solutions Portfolio, was announced earlier this year backing initiatives within Regenerative Agriculture, Mangrove Protection and Restoration, and Forest Conservation. The three new pillars will take the brand from carbon negative to climate positive.
What Does Climate Positive Mean?
Gucci’s move to become climate positive means that they are taking a holistic approach towards their environmental practices. Going beyond achieving net-zero carbon emissions, to creating a positive environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s President and CEO put it:
We want to be part of the solution for nature and climate by mainstreaming practices and systems that will transform nature from being a victim of climate to becoming an actor to change climate, which will ultimately determine the future of our planet.marco bizzarri
Climate positive strategies put companies in a position where they can do good for the planet while doing good for their businesses. There are many ways that brands can get involved in climate positive projects. Gucci’s three focal areas prove to be a great place to start.
Traditionally the fashion industry’s raw materials come from chemically intensive, industrial farming practices. Which is known to degrade land, decrease biodiversity and release carbon into the air. Regenerative agricultural practices replenish nature rather than depleting it. Using holistic forms of farming and grazing its able to increase biodiversity, clean up the waterways, and sequester carbon that would be otherwise released into the air.
Gucci is working to implement regenerative agriculture inside and outside of their supply chain. They’ve partnered with experts like Conservation International, South Pole, and Native to identify ways to scale regenerative agricultural projects globally. With the end goal of utilising regeneratively grown materials to make their products, and making them more accessible for other industry brands.
Gucci is incentivising farmers to make the switch to regenerative agriculture through “Carbon Farming”. They’ve already started by funding Native’s latest wool and leather regenerative project. It covers 3,075 hectares, and over the next five years will capture approximately 25,000 tons of CO2.
Restoring & Protecting Mangroves
Another pillar of their planet-positive approach focuses on protecting and restoring mangroves.
Storing up to ten times more carbon than terrestrial forests, mangroves are a key component to curbing climate change. Native to swampy coastal lands and known for their tangled root systems, over 30% of mangroves have already disappeared. Gucci has backed South Pole’s Muskitia Blue Carbon REDD+ project in Honduras, which protects 5,000 hectares of Mangroves. Ensuring that all of the carbon sequestered within them will stay safely in the ground.
Conserving Critical Forests
The final pillar in Gucci’s climate-positive strategy is to conserve critical forests. These forests not only sequester CO2 but provide habitats for the vast biodiversity on our planet.
Through Gucci’s partnership with Conservation International, they are able to protect 1,195,000 hectares of forests, and in turn, protect the animals calling the forests home.