Kering Eyewear launches digital platform to assess value chain’s environmental impact
Kering Eyewear has boosted its commitment to sustainability with the Virtus project. Virtus is a digital data exchange platform that uses blockchain technology to measure the supply chain’s environmental impact for Kering Eyewear, the Italian eyewear producer owned by French luxury group Kering.
Virtus, the acronym of ‘Verified, integrated, reliable, trustworthy, unique and secure’, is designed to assess and track all the operations relating to the manufacturing process of Kering Eyewear, whose headquarters are in Padua, Italy.
“Every partner in the Kering Eyewear network will be called on to record directly on the digital platform the data and information required to verify and confirm that each link within the chain is actually adhering to the quality standards and to the environmental, social and ethical practices set out by Kering Eyewear,” the company stated in a press release.
“All data uploaded to the [Virtus blockchain’s] ledger leads to the complete traceability of the manufactured article, following each product’s path directly from its origins - from the provenance of raw materials and components to processing, final assembly and related certifications - therefore delivering an exact, complete and reliable overview about every action and aspect behind the crafting of the eyewear of today and tomorrow,” added Kering Eyewear.
The pilot phase of the Virtus project was initiated in 2018 with five partners, which have now grown to 16. The goal for Kering Eyewear, which currently has over 20 key suppliers, is to extend the platform “to the entire Kering Eyewear supply chain starting next year, including the direct participation of Certottica, the Italian Institute for the Certification of Optical Products.”
According to Kering Eyewear, the project's goal is to “[encourage] greater transparency and increasing awareness about the impact that each stakeholder has on the value chain.”
Barbara Lissi, Kering Eyewear’s global head of supply chain, said that “after a three-year launch phase, we are now able to start building a clear and transparent roadmap of our entire supply chain, achieving detailed analysis and knowledge about the provenance and characteristics of each composition and each manufacturing technique. We believe that collecting and sharing truthful information, and tracking down the source of the raw materials and components used, is the most consistent and respectful way to corroborate the quality of our products and their full compliance with our ethical and aesthetic standards.”
Kering Eyewear was founded in 2014, and it develops and distributes the eyewear collections of 15 labels (Gucci, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Montblanc, Brioni, Dunhill, Boucheron, Pomellato, Alaïa, McQ and Puma), plus those of Danish luxury eyewear brand Lindberg, bought by Kering this summer. In Q3, Kering Eyewear recorded a revenue of €138 million, equivalent to a 25% rise over the same period a year earlier.
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