Chime For Change By Hannah Norman

Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco (courtesy of Getty Images.  Photo credit - Daniele Venturelli)

Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco (courtesy of Getty Images. Photo credit – Daniele Venturelli)

At the recent Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in Vienna, Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco took to the stage to discuss the concept of the power of philanthropy. It’s something that Gucci is no stranger to, and whilst di Marco was happy to admit that philanthropy “is a marketing goal ultimately,” he was also quick to point out that Gucci is “doing what we are doing because it is the right thing to do.” Such initiatives include completely eliminating their use of all environmentally harmful chemicals and materials in their products by 2020.

“Definitely, the long-term goal, given our continuous and consistent commitment to responsibility, will enhance the brand,” he said, “and as such, the brand will have more meaning of craftsmanship, and consumers will buy more into the brand besides the tangible values.”

As well as their seven year partnership with charity UNICEF, Gucci has also recently embarked on another charitable project, initiated by creative director Frida Giannini. Chime For Change is a humanitarian organization that stands up for women’s rights across the globe, by raising both funds and awareness.

The charity has some pretty big backing. Giannini has teamed up with Hollywood actress Salma Hayek Pinault (her husband François-Henri Pinault is the CEO of Gucci’s parent company Kering), and pop star Beyoncé.

The singer said of her involvement, “I have always felt strongly about equal opportunity for women. Girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be. It’s up to us to change the statistics for women around the world.”

Hayek added, “I believe that by working together, we can change the course of history to ensure that girls and women are empowered to realize their potential and thrive.”

Actress Salma Hayek Pinault and Kering CEO Francois Henri Pinault (courtesy of Getty Images.  Photo credit - Chris Jackson)

Actress Salma Hayek Pinault and Kering CEO Francois Henri Pinault (courtesy of Getty Images. Photo credit – Chris Jackson)

A major concert featuring Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Florence + The Machine was held at Twickenham Stadium near London to raise funds and awareness of the issues that Chime For Change is highlighting – the atrocities faced by many girls and women all over the globe. Harrowing figures quoted by the charity include the 800 women who die – every single day – simply giving birth, even though 80% of these deaths are easily preventable.

Chime For Change is ultimately about giving women a voice, and as Giannini commented, “I hope that we can help the voices calling for change to become so loud that they cannot be ignored.”

For more information about Chime For Change, and to sign up to support one of their projects, go to www.chimeforchange.org.