Gucci has unveiled its first animal-free material.
The luxury Italian fashion house spent two years researching and developing the new animal-friendly material and came up with Demetra, which Alessandro Michele chose in a nod to the Greek goddess of agriculture and new harvest, Demeter.
The first product to be made from the material – which includes raw materials such as wood pulp and bio-based polyurethane – are The Gucci Basket, Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton sneakers.
The parts of the shoe that aren’t made with Demeter are a mix of organic cotton, recycled steel, and recycled polyester.
More items will be added in due course and this is just the start of Gucci’s “evolving future”.
Gucci boss Marco Bizzarri said in a statement: “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.
“Demetra offers our industry an easily scalable, alternative choice and a more sustainable material that also answers the needs of animal-free solutions.”
Gucci introducing Demetra comes after Stella McCartney recently became the first to create clothing from mushroom leather.
The 49-year-old fashion designer teamed up with Bolt Threads to use Mylo, a leathery fabric made from the root system of fungi, for a black bustier top and utilitarian trousers.
McCartney – whose eponymous label avoids using leather, feathers, and fur – commented: “I believe the Stella community should never have to compromise luxury desirability for sustainability, and Mylo allows us to make that a reality.”
McCartney previously used Mylo for a prototype of the brand’s signature Falabella handbag, which was later featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition.
Mylo is soft, resembles vegan leather and is made from the infinitely renewable mycelium, and the two pieces were handmade from panels of mycelium-based material laid on recycled nylon scuba fabric at McCartney’s London atelier.