Archive for the ‘ Menswear ’ Category

Pitti Uomo & sustainable brands

Time passes really quick and also the gap between posts grows…

And the season for fashion show is back, as usual everything starts from the man collections and of course Pitti Uomo in Florence leads the way in time, style and business!

Browsing the exhibitors list we find many different sustainable brands, few new ones and others usual suspects…

Edun will present their entire collection where the “Made in Africa” line is the most attractive.

Already met in White and other shows, Claudio Cutuli with their vegetable dyed scarfs and the recycling mastes of Silent People and Saisei.

Also focusing on recycled materials Momaboma and Fondo 9 will present their accessories collections.

Different styles and looks, from basics to casual to formal for Alternative Apparel, Haikure and Uniforms for the Dedicated 

Numbers of sustainable exhibiters are growing as well as the undiscussed importance of this event in the fashion calendar.

But let’s not forget shoes and is nice to see Veja with their fair trade sneakers and accessories in an Italian show.

Katharine Hamnett for Solidal Coop – a fair trade project

From today in all Coop supermarkets all over Italy is much easier to be ethical in style.

From the large and catchy phrases on the t-shirts the most fashionistas clients could guess that only a designer like Katharine Hamnett could have backed such an idea.

YOU/ME, STOP AND THINK, TOGETHER IS POSSIBLE, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, SAVE THE FUTURE, GENIUS, LOVE

Solidal Coop is a known brand and identifies their sustainable products since few years now. This time they did it all. They put together great design, organic cotton and fair trade for both the textile and clothes production. Really a nice job.

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

Quagga: from extinction to re-birth

The Quagga project aimed to create and distribute protective winter clothing highly  attentive to environmental sustainability and  ethical responsibility. The team behind this brand comes from different backgrounds but all were involved with leading international clothing brands. With time realized how the fashion industry was damaging the planet and the people and how this information was likely stating to propagate making an increasingly important part of the public more responsible.

The complexity of the manufacturing process – Quagga Team says in their website – and the use of very different materials (waterproof fabrics for outdoors, inner linings, padding, metal elements, artificial or synthetic fibres for accessories and finishings, supports for labels, and tags), makes it extremely difficult to certify the entire supply chain, as instead occurs in projects for non-complex (but still of great value – Editor’s Note) fair trade clothing, such as T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, and various accessories. This is very difficult, but not impossible, and we have succeeded in it. So much so that our efforts were rewarded with the only certification that the ICEA, the prestigious Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification, has ever awarded to complex clothing items.

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In Quagga’s 2011-12 A/W collection, 6 different models are presented for both Men and Women. The is urban with a great attention to details and shapes. Of course the materials and manufacture are an important aspect of Quagga’s jackets and ,thanks to transparency approach the brand wants to have with its costumers, an amazing “map of suppliers” (only in Italian) shows where each component is produced, finished or tailored.

From recycled materials to Smateria

Sometimes beautiful projects and products are the result of an intuition, a coincidence and a chance. This is probably the case of Smateria. When Elisa and Jennifer, both from Italy, met in Cambodia they had no business plan nor product development schedule, just good will and a vision: helping local women earning their living through their work.

Smateria was in Paris at Ethical Fashion Show to present their new collection of fashion accessories made with fishing nets, mosquitoes nets, recycled motorbike seats and crocheted plastic bags. A wide range of bags for men and women, beautiful and strong travel accessories including the best seller weekender bag.

Everything started in 2005 from few unique pieces created by Elisa with recycled materials and Jennifer asking if she thought about selling all those beautiful things. From the obvious answer “no” to the creation of Smateria, the step was quick. It was not easy to crate from scratch a recycled material supply chain. Work organization and exports knowledge needed to be built in order to cope with large orders that immediately arrived.

Now more then 50 people are regularly involved in production and exports, products are sold worldwide and – yesterday news – they just opened a daycare center for employee’s kids in their premises.This shows how good products and good will can really make the difference and give a chance for a better life to artisans and their families.

Banuq, Sass Brown and Italy

What do a Berlin label and a british Designer/Academic have to do with each other?

The simple connection is Italy and of course Ethical Fashion.

Banuq is a Berlin based, sustainable menswear brand, founded in 2007 by two Italians Davide Grazioli and Mauro Pavesi.banuq

Sass Brown, autor of Eco Fashion – probably the most interesting book on the subject of the last years, is the Resident Director for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s study abroad program in Florence.

To better understand both this is what Sass Brown writes about Banuq in her blog.

Banuq on Ecofashiontalk

Banuq is a sustainable menswear fashion label founded in Berlin in 2007 by two Italians, Davide Grazioli and Mauro Pavesi. The collection is based on the concept of classic and timeless garments, inspired by contemporary cultural explorers, a trait the partners both embody… (continue on ecofashiontalk)

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