In a world where leading brands are judged not only for the quality of their products but also for their Corporate Social Responsibility, Gucci proves to be an excellent example. With the Spring/Summer 2018 collection just around the corner, Gucci is joining the likes of Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani in the Fur Free Alliance, an organisation that protects the interests of animals and promotes a wider sustainability plan.
The Italian luxury brand’s president and chief executive, Marco Bizzarri announced the move in October last year, stating that ‘Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals’. In the same announcement, Gucci also revealed that it will be contributing 1 million euros to UNICEF’s Girls Empowerment Initiative. Last year $17.8 Billion was given to charities in CSR efforts.
Bizzari explained how fur is no longer regarded as ‘modern’ in the ever-changing fashion industry, expressing the urgent need for innovative measures to make the future more sustainable. Research shows that millennials are more ethically minded than their previous generations, accounting for over half of Gucci’s consumers. 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies, indicating the change in the market.
Inevitably, the millennial’s are the future of the brand, hence Bizzari stresses that this is an important move in attracting the best talent to Gucci. It has been proven that effective CSR initiatives boost employee engagement. Philanthropic and ethically minded individuals are likely to choose jobs that comply with their beliefs and once hired they are likely to stay at the company longer. It is increasingly important for employees to feel as though they are working for a company that has a good public image and a positive media presence.
From an external point of view, an impressive CSR strategy can enhance and improve a company’s media presence, thus having a huge impact on PR management. The media is unanimously able to sense issues which have the potential to grab the interest of the readers, that is currently focused on the concerns for the environment. This coupled with the mighty social media can result in effortless branding and PR efforts.
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