Gucci unveils first-ever vegan sneaker

Gucci is forging its way to a greener future, with the release of three vegan sneaker models. The Italian fashion brand has recreated its iconic Gucci Basket, Gucci New Ace, and Gucci Rhyton sneaker models are animal-free, and contain organic cotton, recycled steel and recycled polyester.

And instead of animal leather, the shoe upper and part of the linings are made using animal-free leather, thanks to Gucci’s new in-house designed vegan leather, “Demetra”.

Photo: Gucci

Taken from the name of the Greek goddess of harvest, Demeter, the new leather is made up from wood pulp and combines efficient processes with animal-free raw materials sourced from sustainable, renewable and bio-based sources, according to Gucci. 

Demetra is produced in Italy in Gucci’s factory and uses the same expertise and processes used for tanning, achieving characteristics that give the leather a distinctive, pliable and resilient performance, with a supple and luxurious finish.

Any Demetra scraps discarded during manufacturing are upcycled and reused by Gucci through an extension of its Gucci-Up programme, the brand added.

Photo: Gucci

“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,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci. 

“Demetra offers our industry an easily scalable, alternative choice and a more sustainable material that also answers the needs of animal-free solutions.” 

Unlike other vegan leathers, Demetra can be used across a variety of product categories, thanks to its scalability, with the house also making the innovative leather available to the whole fashion industry, to those brands who wish to manufacturing using it.

The Gucci New Ace, Gucci Basket and Gucci Rhyton models are already available in Gucci stores and online. Further sneaker models and other product categories using Demetra will follow soon.

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