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Fashion

Why Gucci's First Circular Fashion Collection Is A Big Deal

Gucci's newest collection, Off The Grid, rides on the growing circular fashion movement. We break down what this entails exactly.

Gucci, as you might be aware, is one of fashion’s few mega brands that appears to have committed to the sustainability movement on a significant and measurable scale – the most prominent example being Gucci’s announcement last September that the brand had become fully carbon neutral.

The Italian maison’s latest project, Gucci Off The Grid, appears to be extending that sustainability-first mindset – it is the first collection from Gucci Circular Lines, an initiative created to bolster the brand’s vision for circular production. 

The campaign for Gucci’s latest collection, Off The Grid, reimagines singer King Princess (among others) as city dwellers who embrace nature.

Now, you might be wondering what exactly is circular production – to put it in extremely simple terms, circular fashion means to design (on the part of brands and designers) and consume (that’s us as consumers) responsibly, extending the lifespan of a product for as long as possible – effectively cutting down on the total amount of waste that goes to landfills or become incinerated.

Read More: In Our Little Green Book: 21 Exciting Eco-Friendly Labels To Know

For example, in Singapore, we as consumers created 150,700 tonnes (or more than 150 million kg) of textile waste in 2016, according to a study done by the National Environment Agency. To combat the current fashion system, which is linear (meaning an item goes in a straight line from production to consumption to waste), circular fashion instead seeks to extend the lifespan of an item, keeping it in use for as long as possible and eventually, broken down safely to be returned to the environment when all other means have been exhausted.

The Gucci Off The Grid Pieces

Econyl nylon is the main material used in this collection of “genderless” luggage, accessories, footwear and ready-to-wear.

This means that every part of the life span of a garment is conscientiously considered. From the get-go, at the conception stage when an item is designed: Are the materials used easily recyclable? Does the design lend itself to timelessness and longevity, as opposed to a trendy and gimmicky design that loses flavour quickly? Does the consumer recycle or repair the item when it becomes worn down over time? Or perhaps even resold as second-hand goods on platforms such as Vestiaire Collective so that other consumers may get further use out of it? 

In Singapore, we as consumers created 150,700 tonnes of textile waste in 2016, according to a study done by the National Environment Agency.

Gucci Off The Grid is built on this circular premise. Econyl nylon is the main material used in this collection of “genderless” luggage, accessories, footwear and ready-to-wear (pictured above, some of our favourite picks). If you’re not familiar with Econyl, it’s a brand of nylon that’s re-created from nylon waste found in landfills and oceans.

Read: Exclusive – Gucci’s Alessandro Michele On How To Shoot A Fashion Campaign During Lockdown

Other materials used in this collection include recycled polyester thread and linings, recycled brass, recycled gold and palladium hardware coating, and solvent-free adhesives. Any leftover materials and by-products created during the manufacturing process are reportedly upcycled (basically the act of repurposing existing, old or discarded materials into something new – French brand Marine Serre is one very good example).

Lil Nas X in the Gucci Off The Grid campaign, shot by photographer and director Harmony Korine.

To complement the “green” ethos of this collection, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has created an eclectic campaign to go with it, starring actress and activist Jane Fonda, singer-songwriter, actor Miyavi, environmentalist David de Rothschild, rapper Lil Nas X as well as our April 2019 cover girl, King Princess building a treehouse in the middle of the city. The campaign re-imagines this disparate cast as city dwellers who have ditched the conventional urban life to seek out nature – no doubt a call we’ve all felt at some point or another, especially when the pressures of life get to us. (FYI, it was shot pre-Covid 19).