Sustainability is now more a mission than a trend. Recent international talks and demonstrations on climate change are only the last drops in the rising lake of awareness: people can’t no longer ignore what happens after we trash something in a bin. But maybe not everyone knows that one of the most polluting industries is the very one that we cannot avoid: fashion production.
Prof. Francesca Rinaldi from Bocconi University helped to give context providing some alarming, but scientific, figures: the growth in fashion goods production (+63% from 2015 to 2030) will cause an increase in resources consumption (+50% of water, + 63% of energy) and in waste generation. Fashion brands need to minimize their polluting impact introducing new fabrics and implementing a more transparent supply chain traceability, but none of these is free from costs. Only the most committed brands are willing to invest in this kind of research.
Last week we hosted an important debate under the rooftop of HERE, our business and event spaces in the very center of Via Tortona, where fashion happens at least twice a year during the world renown fashion weeks held in Milan. We were lucky enough to listen to a very inspiring conversation held by five famous players in the field of fashion sustainability.
The possible future of sustainable fashion implies a new textile economy in which recycling will become an active part of the process. New consumers, especially among the youngest generations, are more likely to belong to LOHAS, Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability: people who actively seek out for healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, product and service options; LOHAS is also the name for the market of products and services they buy.
The concept or recycling is the basic foundation of VIC Very Important Choice App, whose CEO Francesca Lisot joined our event as speaker. VIC is an online platform that allows his members to access a wardrobe of 100% sustainable clothes upon subscription. Selected clothes will be available to one user for one month and then will be specifically washed using ecofriendly techniques in order to be delivered to a different user, and so on. VIC vision is to provide a 10% shared wardrobe for everyone within 2022: «If you are scared about wearing second-hand clothes» said Francesca, «just think about how many times you have slept in an hotel in second-hands sheets: our clothes are sanitized with very specific procedures, so there’s nothing to worry about hygiene».
Massimiliano D’Ambrosio, Executive Director of Manifattura di Domodossola, told the audience about a story of success in which tradition meets innovation. Manifattura has a long history in producing braided leather goods and has recently created a brand, Athison, whose accessories are produced in eco fabrics through eco-friendly manufacturing.
Massimiliano thinks sustainability is strictly linked to loving territory and caring about employees. The choice to be sustainable looks difficult in its implementation, but necessary, and also rewarding, for those who can wait.
Bav Tailor, sitting next to Massimiliano, is mesmerizing. This London born but Milan based designer has created a brand, BAV TAiLOR, using 100% sustainable fabrics and means of production. She feels that going sustainable is also a declaration to respect our own bodies; since a conscious involvement in fashion begins from consumers.
«The brand ”Made in Italy” has the right credentials to be sustainable», says Salvo Testa, Fashion Business Strategy Professor for Bocconi University, «I believe sustainability is the trend to follow to relaunch Italian Fashion, and all the stories shared by other speakers confirm my feeling».
And our team in HERE Connecting Creativity feels the same: fashion revolution is no longer a fantasy.