After two years of in-house research and development, luxury fashion brand Gucci unveiled three new vegan leather sneakers made from animal-free material known as Demetra.
The vegan sneaker line features three flagship products namely the Gucci Basket, Gucci New Ace, and Gucci Rhyton.
The shoes feature a novel vegan material, Demetra, which is produced in Gucci’s factory Gruppo Colonna based in Tuscany, Italy.
What Is Demetra?
The new shoes contain 77% plant-based raw materials and are developed from viscose and wood pulp compound obtained from sustainably managed forest sources along with bio-based polyurethane derived from renewables.
Demetra features in the shoes’ upper and part of the linings. In addition, the sneakers contain organic cotton, recycled steel, and recycled polyester.
The line contains other compounds for quality and aesthetics, and even though at a minimal level, Gucci is working on replacing them with more eco-friendly elements.
Demetra scraps will be upcycled and reused by Gucci as an extension of its Gucci-Up program, a circular economy initiative dedicated to upcycling waste leather and textiles stemming during the production process. In addition, the material can be easily scaled and produced in mass volumes.
Carbon Neutral Kicks
The fashion house has filed patent and trademark applications for Demetra and plans to incorporate this material across all of its collections from accessories to handbags. The name was chosen by creative director Alessandro Michele, who arrived at it through Greek mythology and Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and new harvest.
Plus, as part of its carbon-neutral pledge, any balance GHGs related to Demetra will be directed into conserving and restoring forests and biodiversity. It is conducting a third-party Life Cycle Assessment(LCA) to analyze the impacts on the environment throughout this material’s lifecycle. This too will further help Gucci to list its impacts based on Kering’s Environmental Profit and Loss methodology and compare Demetra with other materials.
Initially, the company will provide brands under its parent name Kering with Demetra, which can be customized, with plans to make it available to the entire fashion industry from the start of 2022.
This news follows its recent publishing of its inaugural Gucci Equilibrium Impact Report, with its new Environmental Profit and Loss results finding that the company crossed its 2025 reduction target four years before its estimated deadline. Apart from this, it revealed a 44% reduction of total environmental impacts and a 47% decrease in GHGS on a 2015 baseline.
The vegan sneaker line is available in Gucci stores as well as on its online stores with additional sneaker models and other product categories showcasing Demetra to follow soon. The shoes are priced between EUR€590 and 790 (approx. US$699 and 937).
Elsewhere, Nike joined forces with Ananas Anam to develop a ‘Happy Pineapple’ vegan leather collection with its sneakers to feature animal-free pineapple-based fabric and its competitor Adidas too launched plant-based alternatives of its famous Stan Smith Sneakers showcasing Bolt Threads‘ mushroom leather.
Lead image courtesy of Gucci.