Posts Tagged ‘ vegetable dyes ’

Ancient Techniques for Modern Style – Bertozzi Hand Printing

Printing textiles with wood blocks is, since ancient times, a widely used technique for both simple and extremely elaborated designs. Well known are the Indian and Chinese blockprints brought back to their old beauty and diffusion by many Fair Trade Projects around the world.
Even though historically well known through out the world, this textile printing technique is today still widely in use mainly in India.
Nevertheless few excellent examples of this skillful artisanal art remain also in Italy. The Stamperia Bertozzi is indeed one of these. Since 1920 they produce

textiles that tell stories
ancient and charming gestures are renewed today, to create unique and personalized pieces, that identify your home and your style.

This is an effort that not simply results in exceptional products but also in the transmission to future generations of a beautiful technique in between art and crafts.

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Altriluoghi: “This is not fast fashion! Proudly made in Italy.”

Ambitious yet respectful of the future, this the programme Altriluoghi has.

To try to strike the balance between new basic and new luxury might seem difficult but the use of the best fair trade organic cotton and a substantial dose of creativity just did the trick.

T-shirts, hoodies and underwear, with irony and bright colours (rigorously eco or even vegetable), this is the range Altriluoghi offers. Each piece has his story to tell his background that makes it interesting, attractive and desirable.

Everything is communication and for Altriluoghi this is the first message. All products speak about themselves about all production and buying choices behind them.

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.

B-Origin: Italian Wool for Italian Wholegarments

The wool production in Italy is a serious thou complicated issue. Different projects like the Biella Wool Company, the Arianne Consortium and others are trying to rebuilt a supply chain and market for this important and highly valuable fiber. If then we combine these first serious attempts, the technology and experience of a knitting company like HI-Tex and a considerable dose of sustainability, the result will be for sure interesting.

This is how B-Origin come about, the effort of Hi-Tex in collaboration with ENEA and the University of Teramo, to realize a first collection of knitted garments made by 100% Italian wool. To complete the sustainable content of B-Origin clothes at Hi-Tex they took two specific decisions, first to use their in-house technology and knowledge in wholegarment production and second to use only vegetable dyes.

Thanks to the wholegarment technology the production efficiency is 100%, since a garment comes out of the knitting machine entirely made, it just need a label and a price tag. The dying and finishing is then done by the Tintoria di Quaregna, probably the most advanced vegetable dying facility in Italy.

B-Origin is a young and promising brand, with a clear and sustainable vision, ready to take the entrepreneurial risk of taking new and unexplored directions, sure the market is ready to receive the innovative approach B-Origin brings.

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

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