Saturday, November 26, 2022

Step Inside Gucci’s Newest Sustainable Running Shoes Made From Recycled Materials

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Gucci’s latest sneaker drop continues the brand’s journey away from animal leather in favor of sustainable and renewable materials instead.

Coming in five colorways, the new vegan Gucci Run sneakers are made with responsibly sourced, recycled, and organic materials. The company says the shoe’s lining is organic cotton and the rest of the shoe features recycled raw materials, knit fabric, and bi-color rubber soles.

“Gucci guarantees—both internally and along its entire supply chain—that internationally recognized social and environmental responsibility standards are respected and consistent with the company’s own commitment to the ethical and sustainable management of its operations,” the company’s website reads. “We uphold these standards starting from the choice and traceability of raw materials through to the production processes, all the way to our clients. Additionally, as of 2018, Gucci’s own operations and its supply chain have been entirely carbon neutral and we are dedicated to continuing this commitment.”

Gucci Off the Grid

The Italian luxury house has been embracing sustainable materials, most notably in its Off the Grid collection, which uses recycled, organic, bio-based, and other sustainably sourced materials. It tapped a number of celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Lil Nas X, King Princess, Miyavi, and David Mayer de Rothschild to appear in campaigns for the collection.

sustainability luxury market
Image courtesy Gucci

Gucci is also including more of its Demetra-branded vegan leather across its range. The material was two years in the making.

‘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, leveraging our traditional skills and know-how to create for an evolving future,’ Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci, said in a statement last June.

To kick off the Demetra launch, Gucci unveiled three sneakers featuring the vegan leather last summer: the ‘Basket’, ‘New Ace’, and ‘Rhyton’. Last week, fellow Italian luxury house Missoni launched its version of a sustainable Basket shoe in a partnership with sustainable footwear brand, ACBC.

Luxury shoes go sustainable

Luxury shoes are going sustainable en masse—particularly when it comes to Italian labels. Valentino launched its first vegan leather shoes earlier this year. Prada has been offering vegan trainers for several years featuring its proprietary Re-Nylon material.

But beware: the new Gucci shoes may remind you of the 1984 film Gremlins. That’s right, Gremlins. The Gucci Run sneaker, as comfy as they look, comes with a caveat emptor: avoid direct light, heat, and rain, and an advisory that should the shoe become wet, you should “dry it immediately.” Sounds pretty serious.

For the uninitiated, Gremlins were cute and lovable furry animals—until they got wet (and ate after midnight). Once they got wet, bad things happened. They begin to rapidly multiply, but the offspring aren’t cute and lovable at all, they’re pretty devious and dangerous and wreak havoc on the town on Christmas Eve.

Gucci’s new sneakers don’t show any signs of destroying your town—and at $850 a pair, multiplying might not be a bad thing—but keeping shoes away from moisture and heat may prove difficult, particularly if your aim is to actually run in them. Like most things Gucci, the Run sneakers may be best worn when the goal is simply looking good. And with a sustainability commitment built into the shoes, there’s a lot to talk about that may make them worth your while even if you can’t run the risk of getting them wet.

The new Gucci Run shoes come in white, black, blue, gray-and-orange, and red-and-black, and feature the brand’s signature interlocking G logo on its upper and monogramming on their bi-color outsoles.

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