Gucci, the Italian luxury fashion brand owned by Kering, announced the launch of a new sustainable animal-free, plant-based material known as Demetra, which will be used by other Kering brands and then made available to competitors from next year. The new material is making its debut on three sneaker models - Gucci Basket, Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton - retailing from €590 to €790 per pair. Gucci New Ace and Gucci Rhyton are already on the market, with the Gucci Basket being launched on June 18. Demetra, named for the Greek goddess of harvest and agriculture, is the result of two years of in-house research and development. It is produced in factories controlled by Gucci in Tuscany. According to the company, Demetra can be used in all product categories including footwear, accessories, handbags and clothing. The material is both flexible and resistant, with a soft and “luxurious” finish, the company said. Demetra is made with up to 77 percent plant-based materials, including viscose and wood pulp compounds sourced from sustainably managed forests, and bio-based polyurethane sourced from non-genetically modified wheat and corn. While Demetra still uses some synthetic components, Gucci said these were kept to a minimum and it is looking to substitute them with more sustainable alternatives. Boosting the sustainability credentials of the new material, Demetra scraps from the production process will be recycled and re-used by Gucci, through an extension of its upcycling program, Gucci-Up.