Archive for the ‘ Accessories ’ Category

Giovanni Scafuro’s ForkInProgress – accessories new life

Repurposing old, used objects and turning them into something new, it’s a consolidated practice in many aspects of fashion, home decore, design and even architecture. Not always this brings to something really new, with a new allure and appeal.

It is exactly this that gives to Giovanni Scafuro’s work that extra content that goes beyond the intrinsic sustainability of repurposing objects.

Forks and any kind of cutlery, keys and key holes, knitting needles, ceramic plates and tea cups and even money are some of the raw material Giovanni turns through his vision into fashion accessories, homeware and pieces of art.

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Silent People – the luxury side of recycling

When a raw material has intrinsic aesthetic and performance qualities and is permeated with stories and people the remaking process might seem easy and almost natural. It is at this stage when the need for vision, design and taste are most important and when experience and beauty become essential.

Silent People by Franco Armilla e Filippo Biancoli are undoubtedly representing this effort. Rigorous selective research allows them to discover vintage leather and material pieces special due to their usury and shape. This is the raw material and from here the luxury side of recycling is shown and repurposed at its best.

Bags, accessories and now also unique garment pieces are brought again to the market. Fascinating for the stories they carry and the “once forgotten” look they transmit, indeed a great example of artisanal and avant-garde aesthetics.

Sustainable Navigli – Milan

On Ethicalista are many the chances to talk and discuss Sustainable Fashion. Many the events, seminars and shows to promote and advertise about this growing direction fashion is taking. Day by day Sustainable Fashion is permeating shopping areas, so is no surprise to find interesting and pleasant examples in a place like the Navigli in Milan where, since many years, fashion and design meet the city in a very accessible way.

The Navigli are well known for the lively atmosphere one can feel through out the day. Mostly pedestrian, full of cafes, bars and restaurants that at night occupy large part of the road with tables and chairs. Many the artisan and antiques shops on both sides of the Naviglio Grande, one of the only water channels left open in town.

If you are planning a trip in Milan have a nice walk on the Naviglio Grande, both banks offer lot of inspirational finds, especially in the late afternoon at “Aperitivo” time. Then you should not miss:

L’Hub – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 69 – is a fantastic space where craftsmanship, tradition and education get together to offer products, ideas, courses and more. On one hand you can find beautiful fashion, or get inspiration and tutorship to realize some project, on the other you can start your trip into tailoring taking you “license” – a series of lessons at different levels to learn how to cut an sew – or simply rent a machine by the hour. Of course there possibilities and the offers of l’Hub are far more, from vegetable dyeing courses to the selection of printing wood blocks from the Zucchi Collection. Only a visit can really explain this place.

L’Orlo del Mondo – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 47 – is a unique place for brides to be, here esthetics and Fair Trade really find on of their best unions. They propose a large selection of bridal gowns made with handloom silk and tailored in India from Italian design, all this in full respect of Fair Trade principles.

Superfly Vintage – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 27 – was born from passion in research and to those styles from the 50’s till the late 70’s with special attention to music, cinema and attention to details.

Made in the Shade – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 53 – probably one of the only places in town where to find Toms Shoes and their fantastic “Buy One Give One” initiative, and the style and comfort Swedish Hasbeens.

Reruns Strascé – Ripa di Porta Ticinese 21 – is another vintage shop, very well known not only in town, mentioned even on the New York Times. Messy, overloaded but always surprising.

Meet 2 Biz – Alzaia Naviglio Grande 14 – is something in between a showroom, a concept store and a temporary shop. What for sure is one of the largest showcases of interesting, innovative collections of young designers work in Milan. A place where creativity, recycling, fashion and sustainability find real expression. Among the many brands present, extremely interesting the work of: Laboratorio Procaccini Quattoridici – nice and simple line of clothes made with reclaimed fabrics and garments realized by a social cooperative working with mentally disabled people; Alf Re-ctiationbelts and other stuff from unusual recycled materials; Mnmurbags and accessories from recycled bicycle tubes; GarbageLab – bags and accessories from recycled advertisement PVC boards.

Here is a Google Map of Ethical Shopping in the Navigli area in Milan.

forgotten fabrics rebirth – Saisei

Saisei in Japanese means rebirth-recovery. This was exactly what Giorgia Palmirani had in mind when in her Bologna workshop started this new and unexpected accessories brand.

Old unused kits, scraps of historical workshops, old materials, military tents and army fabrics carrying the signs and taste of the time, yet carrying their glorious, never lost story.

All this is turned into comfortable large and stylish handcrafted bags. At White in Milan and Tranoï in Paris Saisei is presenting the new fall/winter 2012/13 collection.

Mash – Assembled selecting the essential parts of old Italian army tents (including: writings, studs, etc….) once finely manufactured, all bags undergo the exclusive in capo waxing and colouring processing, to reach their final and unique look yet clearly showing the original features of the fabric.

Vespucci – Here the material is the hemp fabric recovered from the Vespucci school ship old sails,then dyed and waxed through the same exclusive process.

Paint – the same hemp fabric is hand painted with strokes of acrylic paint and then also finished with wax.

Simple shapes for big-size bags a sort of container for all past and present stories, where continuity and and history find their common thread.

a colourful White Show @ Milan Fashion Week

This Fall/Winter 2012/13 Fashion Week in Milan arrived at its close just yesterday and it’s now time to try to evaluate how sustainability was felt and its promoters lived the show.

Many articles wrote about the lack of foreign visitors, about the absence of the Japanese and how the Chinese invasion they expected did not happen. Despite this dark perspectives, the presence of national and international buyers, top journalist and bloggers in town was clearly felt and the visit they all paid to White is a clear sign that this event remains the place where to find new tendencies and most creative design.

It was not a case that most, if not all, sustainable brands did choose this particular show to promote themselves and their collections. Beside the well established and strongly present C.L.A.S.S. section (with 13 exhibitors), the event could count on 11 brands for which design and product really merge with attention to people and environment, that counts for around 10% of all exhibitors.

Material research, traditional craftsmen skills and innovative design where the key aspects an which all brands developed their new collections. Claudio Cutuli scarves and their secular vegetable dyeing tradition, Silent People extracting all possible beauty from old leather garments turning them into bags and purses or Sennes giving new life to portuguese wool production creating elegant accessories, these just few examples of how sustainability can actually be conjugated to create beautiful fashion.

The outcomes of the meeting between design and artisanal work in two collaborations were very impressing: Dalaleo joined with Michela Bruni to create an incredible new line of fashion jewellery. km/a consolidate their partnership with Italian shoe artist/artisan Andrea Verdura in a collection where leather and reclaimed material really find new a connection.

Stay tuned for more news on selected brands.

Sustainability in January fashion and textile shows

Pitti Uomo: it is undoubtedly one of the most important male fashion shows, but it is slow in embracing the arguments of sustainable fashion. Are just a few the brands who use their choices in this direction as pillars of their communication strategy. Consequently we can meet only few sustainable collections. Among them: the Italians of 500gr with their new 100% recycled wool collection (at their second year); Uniforms For The Dedicated with an increased use of sustainable materials – from 21 to 51% – including hemp, recycled cotton and pet, nuts instead of horn buttons etc.; Cushe, a british footwear company, increases their sustainable offer with Shucoon a sport shoe realized according to their new project C.L.I.M.A.T.E. – Containing Low Impact Materials And Thinking Environmentally; and Landini, in collaboration with ASAP – as sustainable as possible, presented a new line of extra-light scarves in pure cashmere dyed with natural colours from herbs, roots and leaves in full respect of the environment.

Pitti Bimbo: Also this season the organizers proposed EcoEthic section dedicated to those kids collections where ethics and eco-sustainability are basic elements. Here we find brands from all over the world that use organic and sustainable materials respecting the environment and the people, contributing, with a certified supply chain, to support local productions and small communities. The brands are: Alta Rosa, Corral de Pollitos, Frilo Swiss-made, Inch Blue, Kidiwi, Kite, NaturaPura, Nixie Clothing, Paola Maria, Småfolk, Stregatoccacolore, Veja.

Pitti Filati: It seamed clear after July edition, that attention to sustainability would have been a common theme through out the event. Unfortunately we noticed that the section dedicated to these issues is no longer present. Among the exhibitors already there in July, at the moment only Tintoria di Quaregna is present. Of course there will be many recycled wool producers, but how many will focus on the sustainability aspect of their work in their communication and sales strategy?

Who’s Next Paris: the continuous rush to anticipate the collection presentations brought the WSN Developpement group to move Who’s next event from the usual February and September to January and July, more and more distant from the catwalks week. This radical change and the acquisition of Pret a Proter Paris has signed the end of So Ethic, one of the most important sections dedicated entirely to sustainable fashion in an event of this kind.
Despite all what has not change is the number of sustainable brands, stating once for all, that dedicated events are on one side very important and interesting for press, public and brands, but on the other side not necessarily the best form of promotion and selling.
Many the brands, some italians too, present at Who’s Next different shows: L’Herbe Rouge, Les Racines Du Ciel, Misericordia, Komodo, Veja, Tudo Bom?, Toms, Ombre Claire, Pachacuti, Po-Zu, Swedish Hasbeens, and the italians Dalaleo, Hell’s Kitchen and for sure many others.

A special note deserves the Dutch project Green Orange that also for this season brought a growing number of young designers and brands from the Nederlands to the Paris event. They are 28 companies that supported by the Dutch government represent the sustainability avant-garde of Dutch design. Among the others Elementum by Daniela Pais, Studio Jux, YXN, Lonits of Holland.

Berlin: The Berlin Fashion Week is monopolized by the usual two largest events – Premium and Bread and Butter – but sees, in this edition more the ever, a flourishing of small and medium events distributed though out the city, Some are new others well established and in this scenario sustainable fashion has a role anything but marginal.
GreenShowroom confirms it’s reached maturity welcoming a limited but well selected number of brands where luxury and sustainability are deeply interconnected. Stands out the presence of Stewart+Brown, american organic cotton pioneers at what it’s probably one of their first shows in the old continent. Other participants were: Reet Aus, Royalblush, and the Italians of Right as Rain.

Ethical Fashion Show Berlin: For sure the absolute new entry in this Berlin Fashion Week edition. It is the second event that Messe Frankfurt dedicates to sustainable fashion in town, after GreenShowroom. It is as well the first real experiment in exporting from Paris the event created by Isabelle Quéhé back in 2004, not considering the partially unsuccessful attempt in Milan in February 2009. Within the list of the exhibitors some well known brands like *MILCH, Elementum, Studio Jux, Komodo, Hemp Age, Helvetas e Banuq by Atelier Awash and few interesting new faces like the underwear of BUTTWRAPBERLIN and the organic collection with mongolian inspiration of ‘room to roam’.
The presence of sustainable brands does not end with the two dedicated shows, but invades slowly and relentlessly all other fashion events. To conduct the visitors in this journey one guide above all: Berlin Fashion Week Eco Guide realized by Beyond Berlin an agency for sustainable fashion and lifestyle. Many the brands already present at the Paris shows as well as the well established and interesting ones from People Tree, to the Italians of Reale; from Noir to Nudie Jeans, all together more then 100 brands distributed in 8 events.

QuitAndMove … towards sustainable fashion!

Compromises are often given as an excuse for not taking into consideration sustainable practices in fashion industry. Of course style must come at first while materials and people must follow.

This is proved wrong once for all by QuitAndMove in their choices and collection. Their “Organic Style” merges at its best a fresh, unique and cosmopolitan design with all principles of Sustainable Fashion. Everything is certified, transparent and beautiful, the cotton they use is organic as well as threads and embroidery, the dyes are eco-frindly and the manufacture is local.

All this results in a growing collection of basic t-shirts, tank tops and underwear for a young “guys ready to open their minds to new territories, places, cultures and fun”.

Pictures taken in the backstage of the Mercedes Benz DFashion Mexico PE 2011, where QuitAndMove was present in collaboration with Love is Back. Pictures by Gerardo Maldonado, styling by Luis Chaylian, (QuitAndMove fashion designer). Here the runway video: http://youtu.be/VKWfAwbyT_s?t=2m24s

Campeche: Natural dyes in industry – Back to the roots (from shirahime.com)

Ethicalista has been a guest blogger for Shirahime.

We really enjoyed talking about our discoveries after visiting Campeche’s “backstage”.
Here is the post:

CampecheLooking at Ethical Fashion and Sustainable Practices in the Textile World, dyes are definitely one of the most controversial and problematic fields. Everyone knows about vegetable dyes and their use through history till the late 19th century. They are indeed a possible choice for designers and brands to reduce the ecological footprint of their products.
The clichés make us believe however, that vegetable dyes are associated with the image of small-scale production, or even only home-made products, using with large pots and wooden spoons. Fortunately we had the chance to meet someone who is trying to bring the reality and history of vegetable dyes into industrial production.

Thanks to their family tradition and a strong push towards sustainability, Marco and Andrea Clerici created Campeche, a brand of accessories all realized exclusively with natural textiles and vegetable colours, in the facilities of their own industrial mainstream dye plant…

continue reading on Shirahime

Dalaleo: The stylish connections of recycling

It was destiny that made Luisa Leonardi Scomazzoni start her company Dalaleo. She was on holiday in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, she bought a bag because she liked it, discovered the story behind it and gave a twist to her life.

Throughout the streets of this beautiful country – Luisa tells – I continuously saw men with big sacks collecting used cans rummaging through the rubbish. I found out they were collecting the cans for aluminium recycling as a form of income for the poorest families. Because of the creation of these products the pullrings are now taken off and sold separately to the workers of the product you are looking at now. They start the procedure by selecting, hammering, washing, polishing and drying the pullrings then their skilful hands start to work with crochet needle and thread. All this happens in the poorest areas of Salvador de Bahia… the fantastic thing from my point of view is that these people have given life to a product which is useless and insignificant to us. They have collected the raw material and this is the result. This is the story…the story I wanted to know, the story behind this bag that I saw one day and bought because I liked the look of it. Tell this story to the person who buys this product…because then.. they may ..like it even more as I did.

On top of this Dalaleo accessories have got pretty designs, brilliant look, high quality finishes and manufacture (as seen in Milan at White and in Paris at Premiere Class). A wise use of threads and lace work and peculiar shapes and forms give to these line all the value it deserves, reaching one of the highest point in connecting fashion and sustainability.

A Bosalino is Essent’ial

It is always a good thing when big brands do steps towards sustainability. This is why we praise the collaboration between Borsalino and Essent’ial a brand famous for the innovative use of paper, cellulose fibre, cardboard and other materials to create home, office and fashion accessories.

The “Origami” collection, the innovative hats in cellulose fibre, are available in black and white, machine-washable at 30°. They can be created and modelled as you prefer following few easy steps.

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