Posts Tagged ‘ British Consulate ’

Sustainable Fashion: an industry R-EVOLUTION – first impressions

Yesterday in the very centre of Milan, in an historical and beautiful building, took place an interesting and important conference entitled “Sustainable Fashion: an industry R-EVOLUTION” organized by Camera della Moda – the Italian Fashion Chamber” – and the British Consulate General in Milan with the support of ISKO – a Sanco Group Company.

The idea was to bring together some of the most important Uk based and Italian initiatives from an industrial and an academic point of view and at look at figures and data coming from different surveys and case studies.

Here a list (in Italian) of the different interventions.

It is well known how crucial is terminology when talking about Sustainability and that this is an unsolved issue.

Nevertheless it was undoubtedly a surprise to understand that for “Camera della Moda” sustainability is a question of environmental respect, omitting completely the social component of the discourse.

Many and interesting have been the case studies presented by both profit and non-profit organizations, locally as well as globally.

There was the chance to know the progress made by large corporates like Gucci in terms of sustainability, maybe they are still making small steps but with great intent and commitment to have a dialogue with the stakeholders. Hopefully these will soon concretize.

Very interesting to understand how sharing a common vision could bring two important industries in the Denim World to create a brand that keeps sustainability and transparency at its core. In this way it was born and continues to be developed Haikure, good, well dome and beautiful jeans.

Two phrases are emblematic of the Sate of the Art in terms of Sustainability in Fashion between the Italiand and the British scenario.

Anna Zegna – VicePresident of the “Camera della Moda” – stressed that it is time to create a table where to find a definition of sustainability for Italian Fashion.

On the other hand the British University representatives while presenting themselves and their work explained that are now more then 15 years since in the UK both the academic and the industrial world have started talking about this.

Une detail above all. While presenting the history of sustainable fashion in the UK, Rebecca Earley – Director of the Textile Futures Research Centre at Central Saint Martins – and Dilys Williams – Director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London Collage of Fashion – of course used a beautiful picture of a Katharine Hamnett campaign where t-shirt become a strong social communication vehicle. This very t-shirts are now eventually arrived also in Italy thanks to a collaboration between the designer and Coop supermarkets (see a previous post for details). Pity that such a praiseworthy, hopefully ground breaking, initiative is arrived with at least 20 years of delay.

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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.

Approaching Milan Fashion Week

Fashion season in reaching its climax in these weeks, after the great beginning in north of Europe is now time for New York and Milan. For sure Sustainability is receiving a privileged place in these season and the large amount of articles and reportages issued are a proof of it.

This morning with a press conference at Milan Municipality the upcoming edition of White Milan was lunched. In the opening words of Stefanio Boeri – municipal councilor for culture – he clearly stated that Milan must be proud and attentive to Fashion, Creativity and Sustainability as expression of culture and business. This lead the speech of Massimiliano Bizzi – White Group President – in introducing all aspects of this season edition of the show.

Saisei

Saisei

Of course the section White Goes Green with C.L.A.S.S. is the sustainability manifesto of this event, without forgetting that are many the exhibitors who will take part in the other areas of White, mixing themselves with all the other brands and excelling in terms of design and research. From Dalaleo to km/a , from Silent People to Saisei, from Regenesi to Giulia Rien à Mettre – moving to white from Touch! Neozone Cloudnine.

This season the Pitti Immagine organized event will host for the second time Green Closet, event dedicated to UK Ethical Fashion, organized by the British Consulate General Milan and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). All together there will be represented some 15 brands – individually, by distributors or collectives – with the special by Vivianne Westwood with her bags collection produced for the Ethical Fashion Africa Project.

White and its sustainable partner C.L.A.S.S. will also go international and in these next days will start a new adventure in New York part of the Fashion Week and liked to Fashion Coterie. A total of 50 brands – 3 under the umbrella of White Goes Green with C.L.A.S.S. – and a special event, a panel organized by Parsons The New School for Design on “Rethinking Fashion: Design Responsibility”. To introduce this at the press conference was present also James Mandolia, Fashion Marketing Director at Parsons.

The Green Closet @ Touch! neoZone

Thanks to an initiative of the British Consulate-General Milan it is possible to admire a selection of eight sustainable designers and brands as part of Milan Fashion City, exactly with-in Touch! neoZone, a dedicated area organized in collaboration with Pitti Immagine.

Eight designers for probably the most interesting Ethical Fashion event ever in Milan. The brand selection done by Marina Iremonger, Trade advisor, Head of Fashion and Design Unit at the British Consulate – General Milan, brought to The Green Closet both apparel and accessories with different and very interesting look.

Eco-friendly are the rare Peace Silk, Modal™ and Bemberg™ chiffon fabrics in the Ivana Basilotta collection; the Ecology Undyed and the Supersoft Shetland used for Eribé knitwear, and the organic jersey of People Tree garments. You can be green also when choosing production techniques that have a low environmental impact as in the up cycling process adopted by Ciel and From Somewhere. Vegetable tanned leathers characterise the collection designed by Henrietta Ludgate. Hand skills like weaving, knitting and embroidery are prominent in People Tree designs, a fashion brand that actively supports Fair Trade. With the help and cooperation of famous designers like Bora Aksu and Orla Kiely, People Tree has become a glamorous and trendy label. Industrial waste is the material used for the necklace – defined as the Next pashmina – created by designer Jianhui with hundreds of tiny, ethically-sourced, recycled and lightweight wood chippings. To recycle and intricately weave the precious and the discarded is also the ethos behind the fashion jewellery made by Little Glass Clementine.

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A chance to see in Italy, beside the new collection, the work of Orsola De Castro – the (italian) design soul behind From Somewhere – done in collaboration with Speedo in up-cycling their LZR. People Tree, now in stores (abroad) with their summer 2010 collection including the last Emma Watson designed range, presented a capsule of the work done in collaboration with Bora Aksu and Orla Kiely. Ciel showed a new range of recycled polyester jackets while Henrietta Ludgate and Ivan Basilotta focused on beautiful structured and architectural design, keeping the attention of the viewer on the form and the flow of the garment. The accessories of Little Glass Clementine and Jianhui gave the change of imagining complete looks within The Green Closet. Worth to underline the scottish knitwear presented by Eribé, a contemporary look on traditional apparel and accessories.

The high expectations from such event were met and the presence of many press and buyers – most busy making orders – gives the vision on how also the Italian market and fashion system are actually ready to receive well done, design oriented, beautiful Ethical Fashion.

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