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Gucci's ArtLab to reopen

By Kristopher Fraser

20 Apr 2020


Fashion production is beginning to restart in Italy as the country slowly begins to lift coronavirus restrictions. The company has signed an agreement with trade unions to reopen Gucci ArtLab on April 20. ArtLab is home to Gucci's leather goods and prototype productions.

“Since the beginning of this emergency, before it was officially defined as a pandemic, we have put people’s safety and well-being at the center of all the decisions we have taken,” said president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri in a statement to WWD. “Our health — the health of us all in the Gucci community — was, is, and will remain Gucci’s absolute priority. After very careful consideration, we are now taking the decision to reopen our ArtLab prototype facility, in agreement with trade union representatives, by guaranteeing the highest level of safety and precautions defined with the help of leading scientists. This will allow us to lay the foundations for a wider reopening of our production capabilities and of the Made in Italy supply chain, when possible.”

Italy will be on lockdown until at least May 3, but special provisions allow for Gucci ArtLab to reopen beginning April 20. Only a limited number of employees will be allowed back at work once the lab reopens in order to continue practicing social distancing and continue with flattening the curve in Italy.

Gucci will be implementing stringent workplace safety guidelines to ensure the protection of the workers including complete sanitization of workplaces, followed by swab tests, informative sessions on how workers should keep themselves safe when returning to work, providing company cars so employees can commute individually to work, staggering shifts to keep the number of people in the workplace low, providing anti-contagion kits, and sanitizing cafeteria spaces.

Gucci first opened the 400,000 square foot ArtLab in 2018. It is considered the brand's largest industrial investment in Italy.

In addition to ensuring the safety of their employees, Gucci has also been a supporter of efforts to combat COVID-19, including working its supply chain to donate 1.1 million surgical masks and 55,000 hospital gowns to medical professionals in Tuscany Italy. Gucci has also donated 2 million euros to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Gucci's home country of Italy has been one of the most heavily impacted nations by coronavirus.

photo: via Gucci.com

Gucci ArtLab