Gucci’s Di Marco Talks CSR in Tokyo

The chief says fashion companies should do more charitable projects and be more socially responsible.

The Gucci bag up for auction in Yokohama

HIGH MINDED: The  fashion and luxury goods industry needs to pay closer attention to charitable causes and corporate social responsibility endeavors, according to Gucci chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco.

“Everyone is compared based on profitability, margins, EBIT, top line, bottom line, etcetera, etcetera. I think that eventually companies should be evaluated also in terms of a sort of responsibility rating. because eventually this will be as important as the EBIT you bring to the table for your shareholders,” said di Marco, who is currently traveling in Japan to meet with store managers and attend a charity gala on Saturday.

Although he declined to state how much Gucci spends on CSR activities, he said that no luxury goods company does as much in terms of these projects, citing initiatives such as Gucci’s longstanding partnership with Unicef and organizations promoting women’s rights.  “Within our industry, we are absolutely unique,” he said. “It’s the right thing.”

On Saturday, di Marco is heading to Yokohama, a port town outside Tokyo, to take part in a gala dinner and art auction organized by former professional soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata‘s Take Action Foundation. Gucci is sponsoring the event, which will generate funds for the Revalue Nippon Project. The initiative supports traditional Japanese arts and craftsmanship. This year’s gala is themed around bamboo, a simultaneous symbolic nod to both Japan and Gucci, which is auctioning off a one-of-kind bamboo-handled basket bag. A Bathing Ape founder Nigo is one of the VIPS expected to attend the affair.

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