The Circular Hub aims to drive innovation and create synergies to accelerate the circular transformation of luxury fashion
Author: House of Eden
- Gucci and Kering launch Circular Hub to promote circularity in the luxury fashion industry
- The initiative operates in four key areas: research & development, logistics, industrial partnerships and value sharing
- The Circular Hub is considered to be the engine for new production models that meet a sustainable future and European regulations
Gucci and Kering have announced the launch of the "Circular Hub". Italy's first center for circular luxury. More precisely, the innovation platform, located in Tuscany, aims to make the production models of the Italian fashion industry circular and accelerate the redefinition of the entire value chain. For this, she will optimize her company Sourcing, their production and logistics, support them in the development of recyclable designs and present new solutions.
Gucci - trail blazer for structural change
The first activities of the Circular Hub relate to the Italian production sites of Gucci. From the raw material suppliers to the manufacturers of the end products. There are more than 700 direct suppliers and 3.500 sub-suppliers. In the future, however, the initiative should include all Kering facilities and thus all brands of the luxury conglomerate, including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. Ultimately, the Big Picture is about expanding the platform in such a way that its services can be used by the entire Luxury industry be available. It is about profound, structural change.
The Kering Material Innovation Lab will support the Circular Hub from the first half of 2023. And provide the expertise of technicians and product researchers for apparel, leather goods, shoes and accessories from Gucci's centers for industrial craftsmanship and experimentation. But also external players such as industrial partners and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - an institute for industrial research and the scouting of circulatory solutions, including operational and logistics models - make their resources available.
Source & Copyright by Kering / Gucci
According to Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer at Kering, "Working with Gucci on the Circular Hub is not only a testament to the collective belief within the group, but also an ambitious example to pave the way for other stakeholders level". The entire fashion industry must accelerate its activities and take serious measures to bring about profound change. With the Circular Hub, Gucci now has the responsibility and, above all, the framework to create a path for the luxury industry of the future, according to Antonella Centra, Executive Vice President and Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Gucci. Pursuing common goals and pooling resources, know-how and synergies would enable the entire luxury industry to play an active role in transforming the sector.
Circular Hub Key Areas: Research, Logistics, Collaboration & Value Sharing
The hub's activities focus on four main pillars that have priority in order to optimize the circularity of products as well as the entire sector:
- Research and Development. The Circular Hub intends to build a research center investigating technological and digital solutions to advance circular principles. And with the highest standards of innovation. This measure aims to improve the quality, durability, repairability and recyclability of products. At the same time, it is also about optimizing both the processing and the use of raw materials in order to minimize waste. A commitment that translates directly into reducing negative environmental impacts.
- Logistics. The initiative wants to optimize the logistics of the various facilities of the luxury group traceability of products to strengthen. To do this, it will involve the production supply chain and increase logistical efficiency for leftover materials. This includes recycling and reuse distribution channels.
- Industrial Partnerships. The cooperation with partners from industry should promote the conception and implementation of technological solutions and infrastructures. More specifically, the recovery and processing of textiles or raw materials are facilitated to enable their reuse.
- value sharing. The Circular Hub developed Recovery, recycling and reuse processes, which will be integrated into the Gucci supply chain in the early stages. Associated patents, techniques and know-how then become open source for other companies. The goal: to involve a growing number of suppliers and industrial partners in an open innovation context.
Environmental and system benefits of the Circular Hub
Given its positioning, the innovation platform will initially promote the development of a "Circular Made in Italy". And thus contribute to minimizing the environmental and social impacts of Italy's production and raw material supply chains through economies of scale and purpose. More specifically, commitment promises within key areas including research on circular materials, innovation of industrial facilities and development of local ones distribution networks, the following environmental and system advantages.
- Efficient and limited use of natural resources
- Minimizing waste and pollution
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
- Consolidation of supply chains
- Securing employment opportunities and well-being in local communities
An initial estimate suggests that Gucci can reduce up to 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions currently generated from managing manufacturing waste in the leather goods ecosystem through the impact of the Circular Hub.
What does that mean?
Due to its trend-setting strategy of circular economy the Circular Hub is not only in line with Italy's PNNR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), but also with measures to achieve the EU's 2030 emissions reduction targets regulations will and must come into force. However, it is not only an inspiration and example for other companies to increase their responsibility for product design, end-of-life, circularity and waste. Rather, the Circular Hub is an important (open source) resource due to its claim to knowledge and value sharing, which expands and accelerates the expansion of numerous initiatives for the circular economy. Change is not based on exclusivity and a competitive mentality, but on cooperation.