Archive for January, 2011

Notes from THEKEY.TO

The 4th edition of THEKEY.TO, international event for green fashion, sustainable lifestyle and culture, has been a great Conspiracy!

It has been a nice occasion to meet many young designers at their first show and well established brands from all over Europe. This and the substantial amount of innovative ideas presented, were the most appealing.

On the first day, after the press conference at the presence of the former German “Minister for consumer protection” and patron of the fair, Renate Künast, few brands had the chance to showcase their designs in a simple and fascinating catwalk.

Roaming between the different stands was possible to notice the presence of individual designers as well as of a couple of agencies there to represent different brands. Many choose recycling as their primary approach to Ethical Fashion – from sox to military blankets, from ties to car interiors. Others pointed everything on organic and natural materials: cotton, wool and silk were the most represented. But for sure the most important part of the work was directed by all brands towards innovative materials and creative design.

As per the other editions, THEKEY.TO Conspiracy! is not only trade show, but also a meeting point for many and an occasion for networking with brands, designers, boggers, journalists, consultants among others. The different workshops and the boot camp offered a good chance to deepen some aspects of ethical fashion and get to know new initiatives and best practices. The time spent listening to Summer Rayne Oakes explaining her project Source4Style gave to all participants a clear and sound vision of what this is all about.

Praising all brands (here the whole list) for their great achievements and for being part of the Conspiracy, we would like to mention – beside the five Italian brands already mentioned in a previous post – a few that really stroke us:

  • Elementum a clothing collection based on the total use of a piece of a cloth where minimum cuts provide maximum use. Amazing alpaca wool for winter and soft organic cotton jersey for summer to wrap your body letting you play with the simple lines and cuts of these pieces.
  • Steinwidder from unwanted sox to the most innovative and appealing clothing. The architectural construction of each piece of the collection reflects the the unicity of the row material. The final result can at times look curious but is of sure effect.
  • Reet Aus A very interesting and challenging recycled denim collection from Estonia. Unexpected and fresh design takes up-cycled denim to a totally new level. Reet Aus
  • Isabell de Hillerin is working with local Romanian manufacturers to support the production of handmade materials. She adds traditional Romanian embroidery to her designs. The end result, for her new collection called ‘Patina’, is a fascinating mixture of elegance and tradition, sculptured cuts and draped materials.

Eco Fashion @ Pitti Immagine Uomo

The 79th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo just ended with a successful increase of foreign buyers (+9%) from some 100 countries. Over 1000 brands and collections were presented and more the 30000 people visited the fair.

The presence of Sustainable Fashion projects was noticed by the media and by many buyers. Worth to be mentioned especially two new eco-friendly brands, both Made in “Tuscany” and originated from the century old local tradition of Teased Wool. This process starting from existing fabrics, regenerates wool through carding, so 100% recycled wool.


  • 500gr presented a young and dynamic collection, mainly jackets and shirts in bright colours.
  • Rigenius new born brand outcome of the collaboration between Landi Confezioni and Com.i.stra. An innovative collection where the entire life cycle of the material stays with-in the firm, from the used clothes to the regenerated wood to the new garment.

Proud to be Italian!

Livia Firth more then anybody else has been able to turn the red carpet into a GREEN one!

Her involvement in Sustainable Fashion is known, she is also very aware of the chance she is given each time she has to accompany her husband, Colin Firth, on a red carpet. The exposure on the media is massive and the attention at how each celebrity is dressed is a crucial point in any article or reportage.

Today again another of these chances. Colin was honored a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Livia was wearing Stewart+Brown and Riccardo Rizieri shoes.

Livia and Colin Firth

Livia, Colin and the STAR! - from

She will of course relaunch her Green Carpet Challenge for 2011, you can follow on her blog on

Beside all this let’s not forget the work she does, together with her two brothers Nicola and Alessandro Giuggioli, at Eco Age, a shop, a showroom, but not only. This is what they say:

Eco is an exciting new retail concept and the first of its kind – a store, showroom, consultancy and green hub that offers inspiration, ideas and specific domestic solutions for all those who want to lead a greener and more energy efficient life

Reading an interview she gave to the italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore (in italian) she mentioned the imminent opening, in 2011 – so this year, of an Eco Age also in Milan. This will be a very important step for Ethical Fashion in Italy, and we really look forward for more information on this.


THEKEY.TO is the international fair for green fashion, sustainable lifestyle and culture in Berlin and has established itself firmly as part of the Berlin Fashion Week programme. Already it is recognised as one of the most important platforms in its sector – The world of Green Fashion.

THEKEY.TO CONSPIRACY offers the upheaval a forum: ”It is a good-hearted Conspiracy.”, says Gereon Pilz van der Grinten, founder of THEKEY.TO: “Pioneering brands, innovative chains of distribution and influential networks team up at THEKEY.TO to a powerful, ever growing commu- nity. We want to mobilize, and by this give the evolution of a ‘world- conscious’ fashion the neces- sary impulse: The growth of the industry is to change the world.”

Frans Prins, founder of THEKEY.TO: “Since initiating THEKEY.TO two years ago the number of green fashion brands presented at the Berlin Fashion Week has increased from 20 to more than 100. The conventional industry is slowly following suit with their own eco-offerings. Green fashion is proving to be not only a trend, and is starting to make its way into the mainstay of society. THEKEY.TO offers the growing industry a foundation for economic success and inspiration and buying agents a high-grade choice in innovation.”

We are a conspiratorial sustainable-fashion-mob disguised as a trade show

The Italian presence at this winter edition includes some very interesting brands:


Campeche: from the past to a sustainable future

It was the end of the XIX century when the Dye Workshop Tintoria Clerici was born. The experience generated in over 120 years brought the fourth generation of the Clerici family to take up a new challenge, recovering ancient vegetable dyeing techniques and reinterpreting them in a modern perspective. Campeche was born in 2009 to gather all these ideas and show how sustainable fashion is really possible.


The result are 100% eco-friedly polo shirts, scarves and other accessories. All materials are natural – flax, wool, silk – and the cotton is organic. All dyes are GOTS certified.

Uneven colours that change over time and usage do the rest turning each product into unique pieces.


Looking for Vegan shoes in the italian market i remembered Bioworld/Altrescarpe. They are not actually Italian but Spanish artisans and they do not only make Vegan shoes but also vegetable tanned leather ones.

Courbet in Lorica - Bioworld/Altrescapre

Courbet in Lorica - Bioworld/Altrescapre

Looking more carefully into their Vegan line appears that what is really “Made in Italy” is the high tech leather called Lorica they use. The mystery now was what actually Lorica is? I checked the website of Lorica Sud SRL the company who patented this material and they give this description:

Lorica, initially, appears in raw sheets with a very flexible appearance and with conspicuous puckering: from the initial microscopic section-analysis, it is possible to identify the great similarity with animal hides even though it is an entirely synthetic material. The idea to combine polymer and tanning technologies originated, carrying out the processing of unrefined Lorica (composed of polyurethane and polyamide microfiber) extremely suitable for sustaining the necessary and intense transformation procedure, in order to obtain “real hi-tech leather”. Lorica was designed to satisfy the wide-ranging and demanding requirements of the current market in an environmentally-friendly way. The products used in the various Lorica manufacturing phases are in fact neither toxic nor harmful to man or the environment. Lorica is an innovative material that scores excellent results in bio-medical tests: the analysis carried out in specialized centers firm that Lorica is a non-allergic, non-ssitive and non-irritating product.

The results is probably the most eco-freindly substitute of leather and Bioworld/Altrescarpe turns it into very nice shoes, with a great feel and super waterproof. On top of this let’s not forget: totally vegan.

Ethical Fashion in Milan? Where to buy

A new shop has opened this autumn in Milan. Equo Logo is a nice and quiet space in the center of Brera, one of the most fascinating and art-prone areas of the city. Everything starts from Color Naturae a brand realizing garments knitted or in jersey, dyed with natural or eco-friendly colours, all Made in Italy.

In the shop beside their our products they propose other brands:

Bioworld – Altrescarpe
Artisanal shoes made in Spain with vegetable tanned leather or Lorica, a Vegan Friendly material.
Accessories and garments all in vegetable dyes GOTS certified.
Coats, jackets and other vests made in Afghanistan by a Cooperative with and Italian twist. Locally produced fabrics, ancient patterns and fine embroidery give to these pieces an ethnic-chic look.

And many other brands and interesting products.


on Ethical Fashion

with an Italian twist

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