Gucci Goes Sustainable: New Handbag Line Made with Leather from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Ranches

March 4, 2013

The world’s first leather products made using leather from Rainforest Alliance Certified ranches

Today marks a significant milestone in the fashion industry with the launch of the world’s first products made using leather from Rainforest Alliance Certified ranches; a bag line in collaboration with Gucci -- the renowned Italian fashion house -- and Livia Firth -- creator of The Green Carpet Challenge that pairs glamour and ethics to raise the profile of sustainable style. The bags are crafted using sustainably produced leather sourced from ranches in the Brazilian Amazon that have earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval.

Gucci using leather from Rainforest Alliance Certified ranches

“Agricultural conversion for cattle production is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon,” said Sabrina Vigilante, director of Strategic Initiatives at the Rainforest Alliance. “Gucci’s new line sets a shining example in the fashion industry, demonstrating that leather can be produced in a way that benefits the environment and farming communities, while promoting the humane treatment of livestock.”

The leather used in Gucci’s line of bags was sourced from Fazendas São Marcelo Ltda., a group of four ranches located in the Mato Grosso state in western Brazil. The ranches cover a total area of 79,000 acres (32,000 hectares) including a 32,000-acre (13,000-hectare) reserve in the Amazon. Certification ensures the ranches curb deforestation, protect wildlife habitat, provide ethical treatment to livestock and promote the rights and wellbeing of ranch workers.

“This new line of Gucci for the Green Carpet Challenge bags connects consumers with rainforest conservation and best practices of cattle production in Brazil,” said Mauricio Voivodic, manager of agricultural certification at Imaflora, the Rainforest Alliance’s partner organization in Brazil that conducted the ranch audit. “This is a very important step and demonstrates that a responsible value chain is possible for the cattle sector.”

“The majority of deforested areas in Brazil are used for cattle ranching,” said Nathalie Walker of the National Wildlife Federation, the NGO that conceptualized this collaboration and verified the bags’ extensive chain of custody. “Without incentives to protect forests, long-term forest conservation cannot be assured. Certification can offer a benefit for ranchers and encourage the protection of forests and improved management of ranch land.”

The new Gucci for the Green Carpet Challenge Handbag Collection, is offered in select Gucci flagship stores worldwide and online in the US and Europe via Gucci.com. This announcement reflects growing consumer demand for sustainability and traceability, with 71 percent of US consumers now aligning their spending with their values, according to John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio in the Wall Street Journal best seller, Spend Shift. The handbags are also the first products to feature the Green Carpet Challenge Brand Mark.

“Our new sustainable bag line addresses consumer demand for sustainability, while perfectly matching Gucci’s exacting style standards” said Rossella Ravagli, Head of CSR and Sustainability at Gucci. “This launch proves that the fashion industry can be a force for good through directly addressing a fundamental environmental issue.”

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