Bvlgari’s Sustainable Fashion Future Involves Many Greek Statues
Earlier this month, Bvlgari hosted its third annual installment of Innovating the Present for a Sustainable Future—this year in webinar form. The digital event, led by Eleonora Rizzuto (LVMH’s own Corporate Social Responsibility Director), spotlighted the Roman jeweler’s wide-ranging commitments to social welfare and sustainability— from funding comprehensive cultural restoration efforts, to developing arts programming for marginalized youths, to fostering gender equity in the sciences. “The Bvlgari family is still at the heart of this company,” noted Jean-Christophe Babin, the company’s CEO. “There’s a dimension of humanity, of generosity that remains permanent.”
The generations-old luxury brand built its signature aesthetic on a foundation of motifs drawn from ancient civilizations—byzantine geometric patterns, Roman coins stamped with effigies of the emperor—but Bvlgari’s commitment to representing the ancient world in contemporary culture runs even deeper. Over the past few years, the company worked with the City of Rome to restore areas of the iconic Spanish Steps, and sponsored the restoration of nearly 100 ancient marble statues from the Torlonia Foundation’s private collection. The marbles, returned to exhibit-worthy splendor, will be presented in Rome this year for the first time in decades.
Among Bvlgari’s more pressing social responsibility efforts is its support of international non-profit Save the Children. Last year the two organizations, which have collaborated for over a decade, launched Arte di Bvlgari, an after-school arts curriculum for U.S. students in the Houston area. During the Sustainable Future webinar, Rizzuto announced that the program—which has been adapted to engage children stuck at home through customized deliveries and remote resources —will be expanding into California.
Indeed, despite the brand’s generations-old prestige status cultivated through a philosophy that emphasizes deliberate design over attention-grabbing flourishes, Bvlgari wasted no time in redirecting the full might of its resources to the coronavirus effort last spring. The company repurposed its perfume factories to manufacture hand sanitizer, and has since redoubled efforts to combat the virus; during Sustainable Future, Babin announced the establishment of the Bvlgari Virus Free Fund. The fund will finance research institutions committed to gender equity in the sciences, with a focus on virus cure and prevention efforts.
With Sustainable Future, Bvlgari’s message is clear: the company has no intention of becoming a dinosaur of fashion’s past. Rather, Bvlgari has put forth a rigorous new model of corporate social responsibility—one that replaces short-lived social social initiatives with deep-rooted community relationships.