Gucci has officially unveiled Demetra, its newest material that combines luxury with sustainability. And to prove its versatility, it launched three new sneaker models made with the material – The Gucci Basket, The Gucci New Ace and The Gucci Rhyton.
Produced entirely at the Gucci factory in Italy, Demetra contains at least 77% plant-based raw materials and is made of viscose and wood pulp compound from sustainably managed forest sources as well as bio-based polyurethane from renewable sources.
The plant-based material took Gucci two years to research and develop, and is created using the same expertise and processes for tanning, which ensures that, in addition to offering top quality, the material is soft, durable, resilient and pliable, according to the company.
“In our 100th anniversary year, Demetra is a new category of material that encapsulates Gucci’s quality and aesthetic standards with our desire to innovate,” says Gucci’s President and CEO, Marco Bizzarri. “Leveraging our traditional skills and know-how to create for an evolving future, Demetra offers our industry an easily scalable, alternative choice and a more sustainable material that also answers the needs of animal-free solutions.”
For now, Demetra would be used to craft Gucci products, although it will also be made available to the brands under its parent company Kering. It will only be made accessible to the wider fashion industry from the beginning of 2022. The material will not replace leather, but the brand will offer an animal-free option, incorporating Demetra across its collections, as it can be used for all categories of products, from footwear and accessories to handbags and apparel.
The name ‘Demetra’ was chosen by creative director Alessandro Michele and is inspired by Greek mythology and Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and new harvest. Other compounds that are needed to guarantee quality and aesthetics have been kept at a bare minimum, and there is continuous research to replace them with more sustainable elements Gucci assures.
Gucci further states that the material has no impediments to scalability or limitations on volume. As part of its circular economy initiative, Gucci-Up program, Demetra scraps will be upcycled and reused to reduce waste.
The Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton models are already available in Gucci stores and online, and the Gucci Basket will be made available from June 18. Further sneaker models and other product categories using Demetra will follow soon.
Although Demetra will be available to brands under the parent Kering umbrella, it may not be the only plant-based leather the luxury conglomerate will use in the future. Recall that it joined forces with four other major fashion houses only last year, in collaboration with the US biotechnology company, Bolt Threads, to create Mylo, a material grown from mycelium that imitates the look and feel of animal leather. It is only a matter of time before we all would be wearing plant-based leather as much as its animal-based counterpart.