metal free leather

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Gucci announces that, after months of study and research, it has developed  a methodology to reduce the environmental impact of the tanning process. This  innovative new process uses an organic tanning agent whereby the tanned leather and wastewater from the tanneries are free of heavy metal at the end of the process.

Gucci’s new tanning method goes a step further and beyond chrome-free tanning to removing all heavy metals, while simultaneously achieving the level of quality synonymous with Gucci’s “know how”. Among environmental benefits, the absence of metals in the tanning agent improves the quality of the effluents produced by the tanning process.
In addition, there is a significant reduction in water usage (about 30%) during the production of metal-free leather and a saving of energy (about 20%) due to the shorter length of time this process requires compared to conventional tanning methods.

“In line with the sustainable approach that the company has been adopting for years and which is recognised as an integral part of its DNA, Gucci is the first luxury brand to launch a metal-free tanning process,” says Patrizio di Marco, Gucci President and CEO, “This important innovation, developed in close collaboration with our key tannery in the Gucci supply chain, demonstrates the effectiveness of vertical integration. Further, innovation and sustainability combined with quality and a deep respect for heritage can offer new opportunities and we hope to pave the way for the luxury sector to incorporate best environmental practices in the production of leather goods.”
The leather resulting from this new process is very much in line with Gucci’s long-standing quality standards in terms of softness, durability and natural aspect.

The new methodology was developed in close collaboration with Gucci’s long-standing leather supplier Blutonic, a Tuscan tannery controlled with a 51% share. It is already certified in compliance with the International ISO 14001 Environmental Certification Standard.

Gucci’s metal-free tanning also aligns with the sustainability strategy of Kering, its parent company, and will contribute to the attainment of Kering’s 2016 sustainability targets for its Group of Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands .

The first product created with this process will be the iconic Bamboo bag, which will be available in a metal-free version in Gucci stores on special order starting from November 2013. Additional testing is underway to extend the process to Gucci’s other iconic types of leather, which will be part of its upcoming collections.

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