When on the World Environment Day of 2018, president and CEO Marco Bizzarri arrived at the launch of the new online platform Gucci Equilibrium, declared: « We have been working on sustainability for so long. Now our actions, need to be better understood within and outside the company ». Founded in Florence in 1921, Gucci is one of the world’s leading luxury brands. Since the days of its founder Guccio Gucci, the company has always showed a commitment toward high quality and ethical values in all aspects of the business. In the past decade, human rights and environmental NGOs had targeted premium brand companies for having infringed ethical or labour standards. As consequence, these companies started engaging sustainability, in order to recover their damaged corporate image. This was not the case of Gucci, who decided to formalize its sustainability approach without being confronted by a sustainability crisis or a request from its parent company. This voluntary move anticipated many competitors in the fashion industry. This case discusses the evolution of CSR in Gucci within and outside the company. More specifically the case discusses (a) Can Luxury and Sustainability coexist? (b) Why Luxury brands need to be more Sustainable and which is the role of Millennials in Gucci’s strategy? (c) How Luxury brands can Integrate Sustainability into their Business Strategy and benefit from improving their social and economic performance? (d) What is unique and interesting in the evolution of Sustainability in Gucci and how its organizational structure has evolved? (e) How sustainability activities have begun to be perceived as strategic drivers able to differentiate Gucci from its competitors?
SOM, A. (2019). Gucci Positive Luxury. ESSEC Business School.