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Golden Goose Looking at Bio-Based Sneaker

Golden Goose has developed an environmental framework to bring its business closer to achieving circularity.

This week, the Italian label known for the distressed sneakers worn by celebrities including Michelle Obama and Taylor Swift announced plans to merge with an unnamed, in-country supplier known for sustainable research and development. Golden Goose said the partnership’s primary objective is to create a new sneaker using advanced technologies and bio-based materials, and to share learnings and scalable solutions with other brands once activities kick off in April.

The project is a first step toward more expansive environmental goals that it aims to complete by 2025. The company is working toward its first circular design project alongside its new supply partner, and is revamping its footwear and ready-to-wear offerings to contain up to 50 percent responsibly sourced and low-impact materials, like recycled canvas and leather. It is taking steps toward obtaining Cradle to Cradle certification for circularity and responsible production and implementing traceability solutions for all raw materials, from farm to store shelf. Golden Goose also aims to achieve carbon neutrality over the next three years, though it did not provide details about whether it will pursue offsets or renewable energy credits.

In the near term, the 20-year-old Venetian brand is prioritizing both industry- and consumer-facing initiatives championed by an internal collective of employees under 30. Known as the G Generation, the working group has been tasked with contributing both high-level vision and concrete strategy to corporate projects.

In the coming months, Golden Goose plans to open two retail concept stores in New York and Milan dedicated to extending the life of its products. In a bid to keep its goods in circulation longer, the brand will staff these “Forward” store locations with local artisans and shoemakers who will repair and personalize shoes.

Golden Goose will repair and personalize its footwear at its Forward stores in Milan and New York City.
Meanwhile, it aims to bring the spirit of craftsmanship to newcomers to the footwear sector with the opening of its “Fondamenta” Academy in 2023. Named after the Italian word for “foundation,” the program will provide an educational bedrock for artisans working in all areas of the supply chain, as well as a design center for creatives looking to start their own brands or obtain footwear-related jobs. A revamped social media strategy will focus on sharing these efforts, and others. Golden Goose

Concurrent to the launch of these projects, Golden Goose is working toward plans to ensure social compliance across its supply chain. It is pursuing the ISO 45001 health and safety certification (occupational health and safety management systems)—which sets guidelines for reducing workplace injuries and hazards—for its global stores and offices. By 2025, Golden Goose aims to see at least 80 percent of its direct suppliers and strategic sub-contractors achieve either level three or level four social compliance standard ratings.

Though some in Gen Z have branded its sneakers “cheugy,” Golden Goose drew considerable search interest last year, StyleSage found.