Livia Firth, Co-Founder of the Green Carpet Challenge left and at the launch of the collection during Paris Fashion Week right
When we think of luxury handbags, deforestation doesn’t immediately spring to mind, right? But it seems, Livia Firth, the woman behind the Green Carpet Challenge was as perplexed as we were on this one. When she discovered that two-thirds of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is caused by cattle ranching, she realised that if leather could be sourced in a more sustainable way, then there would not be such a demand for such intensive farming.
Gucci's capsule collection of Green Carpet Challenge leather bags
Livia then introduced the uber glam new-mum and head of Gucci creative director Frida Giannini to the National Wildlife Federation and the Rainforest Alliance, which provides certification to cattle farms based on environmental and social justice criteria, as well as the ethical treatment of cattle. And voila, the rest is history (in the making).
Gucci have now launched a collection of bags in associated with Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge that are produced legally in the Brazilian Amazon and is assured not to contribute to further deforestation. The collection was launched yesterday during Paris Fashion Week, where Firth and Gucci presented the three new styles – each of which features snazzy bamboo tassels and comes with a Gucci GCC “passport,” which documents the origin and traceability of the bag.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR (aka Mr Salma Hayek) wants this to be the first of their many brands to become thoughtful of the whole supply chain, though “we have a tannery within Gucci that has been using an organic process for a while now, all of the raw materials we use in the luxury division, and in particular at Gucci, give rise to a thought process about the entire chain.”
We wonder if PPR’s freshest recruit Christopher Kane is set to follow in Stella McCartney and Gucci’s environmentally friendly footsteps…here’s hoping!
[Images WWD and Francesca Fago]