Bottega Veneta to Reproduce Archival Pieces, Build Lifetime Repairs
Correction: Bottega Veneta does not launch the resale as initially announced. Comments at the event in Copenhagen were misreported by Vogue Business. Bottega Veneta reproduces archival pieces, not reselling second-hand items or old stock. Vogue Business regrets the error.
Bottega Veneta has always been silent on sustainability, but CEO Leo Rongone made a series of announcements at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, hoping to elevate the brand from cult fashion favorite to leader in sustainable luxury.
From today, the brand will market handbags reproduced from its archives on an integrated platform called Bottega Series, accessible via its e-commerce site. The new bags will be a reissue of his timeless leather bags from past collections referencing the intrecciato bags from 1966. The bags will be priced at full price, which Rongone says reflects their enduring value. New monthly pieces will be dropping for a limited time, the brand said. A lifetime warranty program is also in the works.
“I feel responsible for doing this, for my daughters and future generations,” Rongone said at the global sustainability conference. “We want our products to be used longer, in order to reduce the number of replacements and reduce our environmental impact.”
On the new series of reissues, the CEO said, “We were so in love with these products that we wanted to bring this principle to our customers. Being an inclusive brand with an exclusive product, discretion is stronger than a logo.
Bottega’s parent company, French conglomerate Kering, has been a strong advocate for sustainability in fashion. She has led the Fashion Pact with French President Emmanuel Macron since 2019 and has developed and opened up an environmental profit and loss framework to challenge how brands track impact and measure business performance. It has also invested in circular startups, including resale platform Vestiaire Collective and handbag rental company Cocoon.
Speaking alongside Rongone, the group’s chief sustainability officer, Marie-Claire Daveu, said she had regular sustainability meetings with the brands’ CEOs and designers to help get things done and encourage brands to interpret group goals for each brand. It also supports the incentive for change by linking executive bonuses to sustainability performance. “When the top manager is really involved, progress is much faster.”
Bottega Veneta is not the first brand from Kering to explore circularity, although today’s efforts mark a significant step forward by the brand. Bottega says the philosophy of the Bottega series is to “challenge the very construction of seasons – pieces that are timeless need not adhere to a seasonal calendar”. Instead, the brand says it’s focused on creating items that last forever. Other brands like Balenciaga are taking on resale in their circularity efforts, partnering with white-label resale platform Reflaunt to try to tame in-store resale, while Alexander McQueen has collaborated with the second-hand luxury Vestiaire Collective.