The fact that a company like Gucci is taking a more sustainable path means that big changes are happening in the fashion industry. As climate change becomes more of an issue every day, consumers and companies are beginning to look at new ways of producing and consuming.
Jane Fonda and Emma Watson are two of the most important activists that have been speaking about climate change and sustainability. Their direct involvement in helping promote the sustainability of a luxury brand is a huge step in the right direction.
Most people know Emma Watson from her performance in the Harry Potter films, but Emma is a well known sustainability advocate who hasn’t been afraid to use her power of influence to create positive change. On June 16th, 2020 Kering’s shareholders approved the appointment of Emma as Director, along with Jean Liu and Tidjane Thiam. Kering is the parent company of Gucci, along with other luxury brands like Alexander McQueen and Boucheron. Emma was also appointed Chair of the Sustainability Committee.
Emma has been an activist for many things over the years. In 2014, she was appointed a UN WOMEN Global Goodwill Ambassador and launched the HeForShe initiative, which tries to involve men more in the promotion of gender equality. Emma’s work on the HeForShe campaign earned her a spot on Time Magazine’s TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people in 2015.
Emma Watson is part of the TIME'S UP Entertainment Steering Committee and brought the movement to the UK; building a network of hundreds of women from across the industry. She established a UK Justice and Equality Fund which aims to end cultures of harassment, abuse, and impunity by resourcing expert organizations.
Beyond all of this, Emma’s also a huge advocate for sustainable fashion. Emma has been known to wear sustainably made clothes to big events to help raise awareness about their importance. In 2018 she was invited to guest edit an edition of Vogue Australia on sustainable development and responsible consumption.
Emma’s appointment as Director and Chair of the Sustainability Committee of Kering has been criticized by some who say she doesn’t have enough expertise in sustainability to make real changes. The fact of the matter is that Emma has proven to the world that celebrities have the ability to make positive changes with their power of influence. Not every celebrity is standing up for what they believe in and creating meaningful change.
With Emma on staff, Kering now has an additional person who cares deeply about people, equality, social justice, and the environment. Someone who is willing to do whatever’s needed to make new changes that benefit not only companies, but those employed by companies, consumers, and the planet. Emma working with Kering is a big step toward a more sustainable future and fashion industry, especially for luxury brands.
Gucci has just launched their first sustainable line, Gucci Off The Grid, and they couldn’t have picked a better person to lead its campaign than Jane Fonda. Jane Fonda is an award-winning actress and environmental activist who has been speaking out against climate change for decades. Jane is well known for her political and climate activism and has organized countless climate-change rallies. She’s even been arrested on more than one occasion, along with other celebrities and people who’ve stood with her in an effort to raise awareness about climate change.
Gucci’s first sustainable line was produced by the brand's new sustainable arm, Gucci Circular Lines. Gucci Off The Grid uses recycled, organic, bio-based, and sustainably sourced materials. It’s designed for those who want to be mindful of their environmental impact, just as Gucci itself is re-evaluating its cycles and making an effort to produce less waste.
Jane Fonda served as the head model of the cast, which also included David Mayer de Rothschild, Lil Nas X, King Princess, and Miyavi. In the video-release of the collection, the models wear pieces from the Gucci Off The Grid collection and occupy a treehouse which symbolizes new beginnings.
Using someone as well known and influential as Jane Fonda to release their collection says something about the direction Gucci is heading. In one of their press releases the President and CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, spoke about the company’s future: “As a company, we will continue to focus on generating positive change for people and for nature across our business. We also have a responsibility, as a global brand, to be active partners within the community to incite change…”
It’s about so much more than making changes with the goal of winning over customers. The pressure to be more sustainable and transparent is finally beginning to change the way big brands like Gucci operate. The appointment of Emma Watson as Chair of the Sustainability Committee is just one example of a newfound commitment to make lasting change. The same could be said of Jane Fonda leading the campaign for Gucci’s first sustainable line. Change is inevitable, and companies that want to continue thriving will have to keep looking forward and continue to create a more sustainable future for themselves, their customers, and the planet.
Jessy Humann lives and writes out of Spokane, Washington. When she's not writing about sustainable fashion and why it's important, she loves to write poetry and do other types of creative writing. Her first children's book comes out next year. Connect with Jessy on LinkedIn.