Wire Service
2 minute read
18 Jun 2021
4:58 pm

Sneakers: Gucci is innovating with a new sustainable, vegan material


Italian fashion house Gucci is breaking new ground with a new sustainable, vegan material called Demetra, developed largely from plant-based raw materials.

Gucci's Rhyton sneaker made with Demetra,Image Photographie Courtesy of Gucci©

For starters three of the label’s sneaker models feature this new material, which could eventually find its way into other product categories, including accessories, leather goods and ready-to-wear.

The fashion industry’s green revolution involves the development — and use — of sustainable materials to reduce its impact on the planet.

For several months now, the major luxury fashion labels have been presenting clothes and accessories made from so-called alternative materials made from mushrooms, pineapples, grapes, cactus, and even algae — most often developed by start-ups and specialized firms.

But this June, Gucci sets itself apart from the crowd, by presenting its own alternative material, Demetra, which required no less than two years of in-house research and development.

A vegan and sustainable material, Demetra is produced in Gucci’s factory in Italy and features more than 77% plant-based raw materials, as Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) outlines.

More precisely, the material consists of viscose and wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, as well as organic polyurethane from renewable sources.

The first products presented by the Italian house combine Demetra with other components such as organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Three pairs of vegan sneakers

To start with, Gucci has unveiled three sneaker models made with Demetra, a name that draws its source from Greek mythology.

This choice is anything but coincidental, as the name chosen for this sustainable material pays reference to Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and harvest.

The Gucci New Ace and the Gucci Rhyton are already available in stores and online, while the Gucci Basket, the third model created with Demetra, will go on sale in the coming days.

According to WWD, the use of this new material could initially be extended to other brands of the Kering Group, Gucci’s parent company, and then more widely across the fashion industry from early 2022.

Demetra will be used in other pairs of shoes, and may later make its way into other product categories such as accessories, bags, or clothing.