THE SUPERMODEL’S NEW ROLE AS ADVISOR TO IWC’S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE
It all started with a Portugieser that Gisele gave to her husband Tom Brady. It was meant to be a very special gift for his 30th birthday. Ever since, “IWC has been in our lives”, she recounts. But it took another decade and a half until Gisele’s encounter with IWC “came full circle”.
With the appointment as ECPA, read: “Environmental & Community Projects Advisor” to IWC Schaffhausen, the global environmentalist, best-selling author, philanthropist, supermodel and mother of two will be consulting IWC’s sustainability committee. Her aim: to promote biodiversity and draw particular attention to the issues faced by communities; two topics that IWC identified as crucial areas in the materiality analysis for its latest Sustainability Report 2022. The announcement of Gisele Bündchen as first-ever ECPA is accompanied by the introduction of the revolutionary MiraTex straps, a plant-based, circular and entirely plastic-free alternative to leather.
Read below some excerpts from IWC’s podcast Partners in Time featuring superwoman Gisele Bündchen, IWC CEO Chris Grainger-Herr, and CMO & Chair of IWC’s Sustainability Committee, Franziska Gsell.
THE MOST SPECIAL GIFT
On the beginning of Gisele’s journey with IWC
“It’s so funny how life comes full circle. When I met my husband, he was 29 years old, and it was going to be his 30th birthday. I had just met him, and I wanted to give him something really special. I was in New York and I asked myself, what do I give him that is really memorable? So, I went to a watch store and I told them: “My boyfriend is turning 30 and I want to give him the most special gift.”
He showed me all the watches and I remember seeing this IWC Portugieser watch which was so beautiful. I was like, wow, this is amazing. I thought to myself, he has to like me if I give him this watch. Now it makes me so happy every time he wears it. It just brings back memories. We’ve been together for almost 16 years, and this piece is going to be passed on to our children.”
Gisele sporting the Portugieser Chronograph IW371617 with a stainless steel bracelet
Supermodel turned environmentalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gisele Bündchen
On how luxury and fashion can be more sustainable
“It’s about being mindful. I have pieces in fashion that I’ve had since I was 19 years old. Jackets, bags... If things are really well made, they can last a long time. If you look in your closet, you really wear only 5% of what you have. You’re like “Oh my god, I have nothing to wear” but you have a full closet! I have key pieces that I feel really good about, and that’s what I wear. I’m a very basic person. It’s about simplicity. Quite frankly, I believe simplicity is the new luxury. It’s about high quality but simple in the way that you don’t need so many [products].”
“WE ARE WHAT WE EAT”
On which projects and organizations Gisele chooses to work with
“The ones that have a true intention and want to make a real difference by creating the biggest impact in the social and environmental area, which are the areas that I am passionate about. “Kiss the Ground” is a documentary that I produced. It talks about the whole story of soil. Everything starts with soil. If the soil is healthy, we can be healthy because we’re consuming our food from what grows in the soil. I work with organizations like that, producing documentaries to bring awareness to how people shop and become aware what’s in their food. Because we are what we eat.”
“It looks beautiful and since I’m a lover of [the question] ‘how can we do things better?’, I was fascinated to hear how you did the MiraTex™ strap. I’m very excited that this can be done. In every way, IWC is focused on making things in the most thoughtful way. It looks good, and it makes me feel good wearing it. So, that’s a win for me.”
“I just want to say how amazing this is. Transparency is key. You have a report and allow people to track where all the resources are coming from. That’s what every corporation should be doing. And here you just set an incredible example of all the different areas that you are looking at and thoughtfully creating positive impact. I’m very happy you’re doing that and I wish that sprinkles to every other corporation that feels inspired by your actions and thinks about doing the same. Because that’s what we need.”
If you have a watch that can last forever and can be passed on from father to son… What a beautiful thing! It has a history
BEAUTIFUL ENERGY IN A TIMEPIECE
On her new role as Environmental & Community Projects Advisor for IWC
“I feel very honored to be part of this team, because that’s how we create the biggest impact: through collaboration, right? That’s why I love that you have the Sustainability Report. Because it really shows how you’re having an impact in a practical way. To think about what we are producing, and how, in the most thoughtful and responsible way.
If you have a watch that can last forever and can be passed on from father to son… What a beautiful thing! It has a history. It has a sentiment that is more important than anything that you can just buy and replace with something new. It becomes this beautiful energy that is in this piece.
I was very excited to come in and learn about everything that IWC is doing in terms of sustainability and community because one is not separate from the other. We are nature. And when nature is in equilibrium, our lives will be, too.”
“I’m such a curious person and I love learning because that’s how we get better. We learn from what’s working and what’s not working. It’s always inspiring for me to see companies like IWC and see the way you repurpose things. Not only how you are doing your straps in a sustainable way but also how you source the materials. I hope I can contribute with my learnings from the last 20 years and unite forces in any of the different areas. So, I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.”
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