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WORTH Project in VOGUE

The success of the projects born within WORTH project is gratefully proved through their resonance in world’s most popular fashion magasines.

The article refers to the leather bags collection of Lydia Muro, as part of the project called “The Eastern Side Of Riviera” and is a capsule of folding bags handcrafted in upcycled leather and natural materials. The partnership was born thanks to the WORTH Partnership Project network , funded by the European Commission under COSME in which designers, SMEs, manufacturers and technology suppliers work together to develop innovative and business-oriented ideas.

All the components in natural fiber tulle worked as lace are handcrafted in Sofia, Bulgaria, and transformed into stunning leather creations at Lidia’s atelier in Ubrique, Spain, by the expert craftsmen she collaborates with.

For more information please visit the link in Vogue!

S4Fashion | Sustainability for Fashion Press Release

The S4Fashion project has officially kicked off. The project is co-funded by the COSME Programme of the European Union and is being led by the European Creative Hubs Network (ECHN) in partnership with Envolve Entrepreneurship Greece, DataScouts, Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) and ZIPHOUSE of the Technical University of Moldova.

S4Fashion is empowering designers, start-ups, scale-ups and businesses identified as SMEs to introduce new sustainable and circular economy solutions for the fashion industry. The project aims to identify and amplify the best and up to date practices for a greener fashion sector.

In May 2021, S4Fashion will launch an open call for SMEs to form transnational teams, from at least two European countries, and collaborate for the creation of sustainability solutions, practices and business models for the fashion sector.

Selected pilot projects will benefit from a bespoke support programme including mentoring, networking opportunities and financial support. Beyond the pilot projects, a much larger number of organizations will be supported building a system of transnational sustainable fashion laboratories for the testing and measurement of new methodologies.

The project brings together a consortium with partners coming from different fields, expertise and locations such as: the creative hubs ecosystem (ECHN,Greece); creative and knowledge hubs for the fashion industry (IED,Spain and ZIPHOUSE, Moldova); expertise in support for start-ups and businesses (Envolve Entrepreneurship Greece) and a data-driven business development company (DataScouts, Belgium).

The newly formed consortium presented S4Fashion for the first time at the joint kick-off event with the other three grant awarded projects (Circular Inno Booster, Fashion for Change, Small But Perfect) which was organized by the Executive Agency for SMEs of the European Commission. The four partnerships had the opportunity to interact, share knowledge from previous experiences and initiate a dialogue on how to build synergies amongst them.

Stay tuned for more updates, opportunities and best practices knowledge sharing from S4Fashion through our social media channels.

Contact Details:

European Creative Hubs Network (ECHN)

 

Pireos 84 & Salaminos 13, 10435, Athens, Greece

Email: info@s4fashion.eu

Exploring UK Design Companies with Environmental Commitment

Design Thinking: New Challenges for Designers, Managers and Organizations

International DMI Conference 14-15 April 2008, ESSEC Business School, France

Raija Siikamäki Fiskars Iittala Group, P.O. Box 130, 00561 Helsinki, Finland

Nina Seppälä UCL University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT, UK

Raija Siikamäki graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki with a Master of Arts degree in 1992 and with a Doctor of Arts degree in 2006. She has worked in her alma mater as a researcher and part-time teacher between 1993 and 2002. Her research interest lies in the areas of environmental issues in design business and research. She graduated from Kingston University with MBA degree in 2007 and works at the moment as a research manager for Fiskars Iittala group.

Nina Seppälä holds a PhD from Warwick Business School. Her research interests lie in the areas of stra tegic management and corporate social responsibility. In the area of strategic management, she is study ing the concept and development of strategy in non-profit organisations, especially the agencies and mis sions of the United Nations. In the area of corporate social responsibility, her research focuses on explor ing and framing the boundaries of responsibility between companies, states, and individuals. She cur rently works for the Department of Management Science and Innovation at University College London.

Abstract

Design industries are facing the challenging situation to improve their environmental performance. The focus has mainly been on making the practices of existing enterprises more environmentally friendly, but a growing amount of companies has had an environmental commitment as a starting point for their business activities. However, only a few studies have focused on these businesses. This comparative case study aims to fill some of this gap by exploring the special features and strategies of three micro-size, United Kingdom based design enterprises that use recycled materials in their products. The underlying assumption was that the cases would bring out unique features from eco-design companies – features not common to the small and micro scale enterprises in general.

It was found out that the studied micro-size design companies were entrepreneurial and used design in an innovative way. As is typical for the young and/or small organisation and entrepreneurial strategy, the owners had the control leading the companies with personal vision. Entrepreneurial strategies were deliberate: this type of strategy is characteristically flexible, creative and having first-mover advantage. The studied companies had successfully passed the first life-cycle phases of small companies. All of them viewed growth as an important objective. While growth was important, it was not pursued at the expense of environmental or design considerations. Further, the quality of design was seen as a characteristic that should not be compromised because of environmental or economic aims. The study therefore suggests that even though ecopreneurs may be classified according to their desire to change the world and desire to make money, the latter is only pursued if the former is satisfied. From the prioritisation of design and environmental values follows that growth was not only evaluated in economic terms. Influence on the market was identified as a sign of success e.g. direct competition was even welcomed when it was seen to promote the values of the company. Moreover, the studied companies did not analyse their business in relation to that of competitors, but their own values and expectations of growth. Design expertise was an important asset for the companies studied and it formed the basis of their differentiation strategy. The differentiation strategy was based on the advocacy of certain values and ways of thinking rather than the anticipation and accommodation to customer needs and desires. However, demand has this far exceeded supply.

Introduction

During 1960’s and 1970’s there were initiatives against the modern manufacturing methods and con sumption behaviour. In early the 1990’s designers adapted these principles of Design for Environment (DFE) (Mackenzie 1997). Various terms, such as terms ecodesign, sustainable design, life cycle design and green design the have been used depending on the tradition from which they developed, to describe a phenomenon which is understood to be a systematic integration of environmental considerations into design process across the product life cycle (Bhamra 2004, Charter and Chick 1997).

Both external and internal influences can be driving organisations towards implementing ecodesign. Bhamra (2004) identifies the following ones: cost savings (eg. less material used), legislative regulations, competition, market pressure, industrial consumer requirements, innovations (e.g. new market op portunities by integrating environmental issues to the product development), employee motivation, cor porate social responsibility and communications. According Bhamra (2004) approaches to ecodesign can incremental or innovative. Incremental approach uses exiting products, business models or forms and incorporates environmental issues to those. The innovative approach uses environmental considerations as the driver for new concepts. As Bhamra describes, it can be viewed “as a marriage of technology, culture and nature” which deals with innovation, creativity and effectiveness. Also cultural and lifestyle factors are important for this multidisciplinary approach. An innovative approach is more likely to achieve targets set to the environmental performance but this approach is little understood and practised (ibid.).

Van Hemel (1998) and Brezet (1997) proposed a series of ecodesign strategies and principles described as a wheel of Life-cycle design strategies (LIDS). This wheel is a collection of descriptions from various thinkers and “it is to provide an exhaustive overview of the options for improving the environmental profile of a product throughout the different stages of its life cycle…”. Van Hemel classifies ecodesign strategies as the following: selection of low-impact materials (eg. recycled materials), reduction of material use, optimisation of production techniques, optimisation of distribution system, reduction of impact during use, optimisation of initial lifetime, optimisation of end of life and new concept development. This integrated tool aims to represent strategies from both the incremental and innovative approaches to ecodesign. The principles and strategies are represented as a directional wheel in hierarchical order, which relates to the various stages of the product development.

The recent study, Richardsson et al (2005) identified as drivers for sustainable design practices among UK designers to be the following: competitive or economic advantage, regulations, market and consumer demand, personal motivators and alignment of ethics with profession. The willingness for mate rial reuse among UK designers and architects was studied by Chick and Micklethwaite (2003, 2004). Findings identified that there are obstacles, such as lack of information, unfamiliarity, supply of recycled materials, costs related to the recycled materials use, concerns related to the quality, practical constrains and concerns about the markets for products made out of recycled materials. Recycling is part of the linear product process chain in the product lifecycle. The material product has a lifecycle of sequences of processes in a product’s life: production, consumption and waste processing. Steps in products process, include the production phase, subdivided into three subsequent steps: material production, parts production and assembly. After consumption and possible repair, product are dismantled, separated and discharged. The linear product process chain can contain three different steps of reuse: re-use as a product, parts re-use and material recycling. When materials are considered, waste is generated in the production process and part of materials becomes waste at the end of the product lifecycle. (Lambert 2001, Stead and Stead 1992, McDonough and Braungart 2002).

Recycling, reverse logistics, of complex products gives diverse challenges. This have been defined by “Seven Rights”: ensuring the availability of the right product, in the right quantity and the right condition, at the right place, at the right time, for the right end-user, at the right cost” as cited by Martin (2001).

Research approach and design

A qualitative research design was applied to pursue the exploratory aims of the study. The findings are based on interview and document material collected from three London-based design companies. Each company was treated as a case in line with Yin (1994) and Eisenhardt (1989). A pool of companies using recycled materials to create design products was identified through a survey of literature and public organisations working in related fields. As a result, 18 companies were found. Half of them operated in the fashion business and their products involved the recycling of diverse materials including textiles, glass and plastics and/or recycling of products or their parts like clothes, tyres and computer chips. After an elimination of some of the companies based on similarities in business concepts, ten of the companies were contacted via e-mail to inquire about their interest to participate in the research. In the end, three companies were included in the study.

As seen in Table 1 below, the companies share number of characteristics beyond the use of recycled materials and focus on design.

Table 1. Comparison of case companies

Company 1 Company 2  Company 3
Established  2003  1997  2000 
Employees   2 + project workers  5 + project workers 2 + project workers 
Production   Design in the UK; manufacturing in China Design and manufacture in-house in the UK Design in the UK; manufacturing in the UK and Spain
Sales channels  Stockists, Internet Own shop, Stockists Major department stores, Internet

 

Interviews were identified as the main source of information (Kvale 1996). They were held in September-November 2006; and took a semi-structured form because of the exploratory nature of the research (Fontana & Frey 2000). The questions were designed to gear the discussion towards strategic topics such as drivers to start the business, objectives of the company, key challenges, management of demand and supply, growth, rivalry and performance.

Views on future trends were also sought. Interview data was first studied within each case and then across cases. The cross-case examination involved the identification of similarities and differences between cases so that propositions going beyond the characteristics of a single case could be formulated (Eisenhardt 1989).

Business concept and strategy

An interest in producing environmentally friendly design products was, in some form, a starting point for each of the three companies studied. Some found recycled materials as a source of inspiration, while others had identified an increasing demand for environmentally friendly design products. The design aspect was given particular significance: products had to be “cool” and “beautiful” and noted for that quality, not only for the underpinning environmental thinking. The quality of design was therefore seen as a characteristic that should not be compromised because of other aims.

All the companies pursued a differentiation strategy based on design and environmental thinking (Porter 1980). As is typical for this strategy, the companies had been first in their product categories to offer design items made from recycled materials and thus experienced usual first-mover advantages and difficulties. Expertise in design was an important asset for all the companies studied and it formed the basis of their differentiation strategy. The founders also had a strong personal commitment and interest in recycling and related technologies were developed to differentiate the products from other design products. The combination of ‘design’ and ‘green’ therefore provided a basis for differentiation within both product categories: environmentally friendly design products and designed green products. As will be discussed later, this mix appealed to two groups of customers and contributed to the success of the companies. Further, the combination of design expertise and ability to make use of recycled materials enabled the companies to develop their strategies from ‘inside-out’ as opposed to ‘outside-in’ which places the market and the competition as starting points for the strategy process (McGee et al. 2005). Strategy was therefore driven by a set of internal resources and values rather than external factors as suggested by the resource-based view on strategy (Wernerfelt 1984; Rumelt 1984).

The studied companies were highly entrepreneurial and the owner-managers led the companies with personal commitment and vision. This is characteristic for start-up companies that seem to need personalized leadership to establish their basic direction and strategic vision (McGee et al. 2005; Mintzberg et al. 1998). In all of the studied companies, leadership was visionary and, as is typical for a growth phase, also practical.

The companies did not analyse their business in relation to that of competitors, though one of them acknowledged the threat of competitors in the absence of barriers to entry. Even though the companies did not think about their products and strategy in relation to competitors, they all had rivals representing mainstream manufacturers and retailers. The lack of attention on competitors resulted from the perception that their own products were unique and thereby lacked direct competition. Further, as promotion of ethical consumption and the use of recycled materials were seen as important aims, competition was welcomed rather than approached in antagonistic terms: getting more entrepreneurs to adopt their business concept was viewed as a success from the viewpoint of environmental thinking.

The companies did not focus on long-term plans. According to Lasher (1999), SMEs are typically orientated towards the short-term. This focus is often due to a lack of resources: lack of time and possibly also lack of knowledge about how to plan for the long term. The importance of long-term planning in SMEs has also been questioned. Mintzberg (2005), for example, argues that “sometimes lack of strategy is temporary and even necessary…Eventually all situations change, environments destabilize, niches disappear. Then all that is constructive and efficient about an established strategy becomes a liability. That is why even though the concept of strategy is rooted in stability, so much of the study of strategy focuses on change”.

Mission to change society and competitors

All of the studied companies sought to influence the way in which recycled materials were perceived by consumers. This desire was expressed as an aim to “inform” and “change consumer perceptions”. The recycled products were experienced to have a stigma of being something less valuable than products made out of virgin raw materials. The companies sought to address this stigma by designing products that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Design was therefore used as a way to make recycled materials more appealing to the market. From this followed that the quality of design was not compromised at the expense of environmental or economic considerations.

The companies also sought to have an impact on their sector as a whole. As a result, adoption of their ideas by more established companies and the emergence of direct competition were welcomed rather than viewed as a threat.

“How can we change consumer perception? If what they buy, where they buy, where it came from, how it was made – all of that for me is really important…our company is small but we can have an influence in the market, that’s really our big goals. “

Nevertheless, the companies experienced some resistance in marketing their goods as the variation that recycled materials bring to the product was found to be obstacle for selling the products through some retailers that were used to standardized and mass-produced items. These retailers regarded variation as a fault rather than a sign of high quality. Some of the products were still sold through well-known retailers, while others were brought to the market via shops specialised in selling design and/or ethical products. All of the companies also used the Internet to sell their products. Further, the companies found it challenging to source sufficient amount and quality of recycled materials. Sourcing of recycled materials has been a major obstacle for designers and architects who have sought to use such materials (Chick and Micklethwaite 2003, 2004). As a result, some of the companies had developed technological solutions to address problems relating to the quality and durability of the products.

In sum, the companies studied therefore differed from other SMEs because of their uncompromising focus on design and environmental values. Because of this, they assessed their success not only in terms of demand, sales, and turnover, but also in relation to their influence on society. This influence was mainly interpreted as the perception that consumers have of the use of recycled materials, but also in terms of their impact on other businesses. As Shaper (2002) notes, green entrepreneurship is not only important because it provides new opportunities for businesses, but also because it can contribute to an overall transition towards a more sustainable business paradigm; Shaper referred to this as the “pull” factor of green entrepreneurship.

Growth without compromises

Growth was regarded as important by all the companies studied. It was generated by the expansion of the volume of production and/or the product portfolio. The companies paid special attention to environmental issues, such as the miles materials or products travelled, while seeking to expand production. For example, one of the companies that had outsourced its manufacturing to China was looking for an environmentally committed logistics company for reducing its overall impact on the natural environment. It was also looking for a manufacturer in the UK or Europe to decrease the need for long-haul transportation. The companies also found local sourcing an important aspect of their operations.

Nevertheless, growth was not pursued unconditionally. As already seen, the companies did not want to compromise the values of environmental thinking and design at the expense of growth. Moreover, growth was seen as a way to influence the market as illustrated by the following quote from one interviewee:

“I think it has to be with any successful project but how we do that…as long as we are not sacrificing our values, as long as with growth we can improve all of our ethical aims, we cannot loose sight on that. With growth we can grow our influence.”

The companies therefore viewed growth and influence on competitors as inherently interlinked. Their overall strategy is with regard to their aim to grow in economic terms and change societal values. Other trajectories are also possible, but they would involve some type of strategic failure to reach desired goals.

Growth was enhanced by the avoidance of some of the typical difficulties encountered by young companies. Marketing, which Lasher (1999) identifies to be one of the biggest problems for SMEs, wasn’t a challenge for the companies studied. Their products had reached customers with little marketing effort. The companies identified the word of mouth as the most important channel through which their products were advertised. What’s more, their growth was enabled by the Internet and other electronic communication tools that made the transmission of information fast. All of them had also benefited from the attention of the media and public organisations that had been interested in ecodesign products.

As a whole, the studied companies demonstrate that economic rationality is not the only factor that drives business. Linnanen (2002) studied ecopreneurs and categorised them on the basis of two factors: their desire to change the world and their desire to make money and grow as a business venture. According to the findings of this study, design companies that use recycled materials in their products could be typified as ecopreneurs. The desire to change the world and the desire to make money are both present in their expressions for why they are doing business. However, the findings of the present study suggest that one element could be added to Linnanen’s model: non-compromise in the quality of design while environmental and economic aims are pursued.

One of the companies had also reviewed its business concept as competition had increased by offering the customers an opportunity to bring in materials that could then be used for new products. This service was established to have a unique feature on the market after there had been followers to the company’s original concept. It had proved successful as customers enjoyed being included in the sourcing and production process. As Grönroos (1998) states, the image of the service provider has an impact on the overall perception of quality. In this way, the company was able to address the stigma that recycled materials have and strengthen its business concept.

Figure 1. Common features of studied eco-design companies (adapted from the basis / as cited by McGee, Tomas and Wilson 2005)

The three studied micro size design enterprises each had features unique to them when comparing them with each others. These features were related mainly to structure and operations. However, it was possible to detect some special features common to the companies relating to value proposition, inputs, Value proposition, Transformation and Nature of customer. Values of manufacturing of environmentally sound design products and promoting recycling: by combining these aspects entrepreneurs believed in their ability to have an impact on consumer behaviour and to have an impact on the scale of this interest. With value proposition, the information about products with unique features had reached customers orientated to ethical consuming through word of mouth. They were served through own shops, dedicated retailers and internet selling.

Conclusions

This study explored the special features and strategies of three micro-size, United Kingdom based design enterprises that use recycled materials in their products. The underlying assumption was that the case study would bring out unique features from eco-design companies – features not common to the small and micro scale enterprises in general. In this explanatory, small-scale qualitative case study focusing on practice, the principles of grounded theory were adopted. The main source of primary data was interviews of companies’ key personnel.

It was found out that the studied micro size design companies were entrepreneurial and used design in an innovative way. Important starting points for the businesses were design expertise and utilisation of recycled materials. The owners had the control leading the companies with personal vision. Entrepreneurial strategies were deliberate and characteristically flexible, creative and having first-mover advantage.

The studied companies were already established in their fields and had successfully passed the fist lifecycle phases of small companies. Each of them viewed growth as an important objective and it was pursued through the expansion of the volume of production and portfolio of products. The growth strategies could therefore be seen as organic and low-risk. The analysis of the companies suggests that while growth is an important objective, it is not pursued at the expense of environmental or design considerations. All interviewers stated that the values of the company should not be threatened by growth. The companies had also taken action to ensure that the values were maintained. For example, materials were sourced locally and environmentally committed transportation companies were sought when one of the companies had manufacturing in China.

What is more, the quality of design was seen as a characteristic that should not be compromised because of environmental or economic aims. The study therefore suggests that even though ecopreneurs may be classified according to their desire to change the world and desire to make money, the latter is only pursued if the former is satisfied. From the prioritisation of design and environmental values follows that growth was not only evaluated in economic terms. Several interviewees identified influence on the market as a sign of success. The awareness that customers had of recycling was seen as particularly important, but influence on the products and practices of other companies were also seen as an indicator of success. This finding highlights the lack of relevance that some of the key concepts in the area of strategic management have for the analysis of ecopreneurs. Such basic concepts as ‘competition’ and ‘competitor’ appear particularly irrelevant for understanding the way in which ecopreneurs view their environment. Direct competition was even welcomed when it was seen to promote the values of the company. Moreover, the studied companies did not analyse their business in relation to that of competitors, but their own values and expectations of growth. Strategies were therefore planned “inside-out” opposite to the “outside-in” approach which places the market and the competition as starting points for the strategy process. Design expertise formed the basis of their differentiation strategy. As is typical for the differentiation focus, the studied companies had been first in their product categories to offer design items made out of recycled materials and thus experienced usual first-mover difficulties and advantages. Also typically to the differentiation strategy, the studied companies produced “unique products perceived to be superior in value”. The superior value was a created by a combination of design quality and ideological values.

As noted above, the basis of differentiation was sustained by the personal commitment of ecopreneurs to the values underpinning their business. The differentiation strategy was therefore based on the advocacy of certain values and ways of thinking rather than the anticipation and accommodation to customer needs and desires. This type of differentiation is possible when the values promoted by the company have appeal to a certain group of consumers and when the products are able to transmit certain meanings.

Finally, although the processing of materials requires detailed attention and the manufacturing process is labour-intensive, the companies were not particularly concerned about the followed pressure on pricing of their products. Demand has this far exceeded supply.

Acknowledgements

The writers would like to express their deepest gratitude to the entrepreneurs who gave some of their time in the midst of their busy schedules. It has been a great privilege to have an opportunity to talk about their businesses for this study, which was carried out at the Kingston University during academic year 2006-2007.

References

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Brezet J. C., van Hemel C.G., Ecodesign: A promising Approach to Sustainable Production and Con sumption, UNEP, Paris, 1997

Charter M., Chick A., Editoral, Journal of Sustainable Product Design, 1(1), 1997

Chick A., Micklethwaite P., Specifying recycled: understanding UK architects’ and designers’ practices and experience, Design Studies, Volume 25 (3), May 2004

Chick A., Micklethwaite P, “Recycled tigers’ teeth?” Obstacles to UK designers specifying recycled products and materials, 5th European Academy of Design Conference, University of Barcelona, Spain, 2003. Available at: www.ub.es/5ead, [Accessed 6 May 2006]

Eisenhardt K. M., Building Theories from Case Study Research, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14(4), 1989 Churchill N., Lewis V. 1983, The five stages of small business growth, Harvard Business Review, 61, May-June, 1983, pp.30-50

Grönroos C., Marketing Services: A case of a Missing Product, Journal of Business and Industrial Mar keting, 13 (3/5), 1998

Fontana A. and Frey, J. H., The Interview: From Structured Questions to Negotiated Text, in Norman K. Denzin (ed.) The Handbook on Qualitative Research, 2nd edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, USA, 2000

Hemel C. G. van, The IC EcoDesign project: results and lessons from a Dutch initiative to implement eco-design in small and medium-sized companies, Journal of Sustainable Product Design, Issue 2, 1997

Lambert A. J. D., Life-Cycle Chain Analysis, including Recycling, Greener Manufacturing and Opera tions – from Design to Delivery and Back, edited by Joseph Sarkis, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, Shef field, UK, 2001, pp. 36-55

Lasher W. R., Strategic Thinking for Smaller Businesses and Divisions, Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 1999

Linnanen L., An insider’s experiences with environmental entrepreneurship, Greener Management In ternational 38, Summer, 71–80, 2002

Kvale S., InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Sage Publica tions,Thousand Oaks, USA, 1996

Martin M., Implementing the Industrial Egology Approach with Reverse Logistics, Greener Manufactur ing and Operations – from Design to Delivery and Back, ed. J. Sarkis, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, Sheffield, UK 2001

McDonough W., Braungart M., Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way We Make Things, North Point Press, New York, USA, 2002

McGee J., Thomas H., Wilson D., Strategy: analysis and practice, McGraw-Hill Education, Maiden head, UK, 2005

Mackenzie D., Green design: design for the environment, Laurence King Publishing, London, UK, 1997

Mintzberg H., Ahlstrand B., Lampel J., Strategy Safari, FT Prentice Hall, 1998

Mintzberg H., Ahlstrand B., Lampel J., Strategy Bites Back, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow, 2005

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Richardsson J., Irwin T., Sherwin J., Design & Sustainability – Scoping Report for Sustainable Design Forum, DTI, DEFRA and Design Council, 2005

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Shaper M., The Essence of Ecopreneurship, Greener Management International, Issue 38, pp. 26-30, 2002

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Yin R. K., Case Study Research, Design and Methods, Second edition, Sage Publications, USA, 1994

Sustainability vs Circularity

Almost 35 years have passed since the first time that sustainable development was discussed, when in 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development approved the preparation of the Report “Our Future in Common” led by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway by then. In this report, what many already knew was recognized: ” It is in the hands of humanity to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own “, that is, the need to change the approach with which economic activities were developed in a system at that time, based on the belief that growth has no limit. A new development model arises that proposes to be that “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Image: “Gro Harlem Brundtland presenting ‘Our Common Future’ at UN”.

Source: www.eh-resources.org

However, in this time the world situation has radically changed. “Sustainability” is no longer a new word, much less, unknown or alien to the majority of the population. But as in most cases when something becomes popular, its indiscriminate use has left it empty of meaning. What really is sustainability? How can you be sustainable? From an ecological point of view, sustainability refers to the balance of a species with the resources of its environment. By definition, for this to happen, three principles must be met:

  1. Never consume a renewable source at a rate higher than its natural renewal.
  2. Never consume a non-renewable source without having used part of your energy to develop an alternative source that meets the same needs.
  3. Never generate any waste that cannot be assimilated in the corresponding sump and naturally inert.

However, the definition itself is not sufficient by itself: How can one guarantee that equilibrium is maintained when the magnitude of what is being measured is unknown? Sustainability by itself is not an adequate objective, especially when we ask ourselves the questions “What should we sustain?”

From a systemic perspective, what we are trying to sustain is the pattern that connects and reinforces the entire system, but what elements are we considering? Differentiating between a linear system (such as the current “make-use-throw” production system) and a circular one (known as “from cradle to cradle”) is essential, since the results that we will obtain by maintaining these two systems they will be radically opposite. With the first we will be able to not cause more damage than the current one, however, with the second we will be able to redirect the situation in which we live to generate conditions that make possible the future towards which we really want to go.

The key to understanding this comes from the hand of biologist Daniel Wahl, developer of a concept that has been gaining momentum in recent years: regenerative development. From agriculture to economy, from design to urban planning … the main idea is to create the conditions conducive to life with our performance. An idea taken from the functioning of nature itself and its ability to develop increasingly complex and diverse ecosystems, at all levels and scales, from the local, to the global, passing through the regional.

Image: “Degenerative systems and regenerative cultures”.

Source: https://laeconomiacircular.com/escuelas-de-pensamiento/

We are so used to solving problems that rarely do we stop to rest, take a breath and gain momentum, much less do we stop to question our way forward. However, dreaming is one of the most important activities to do when we talk about being sustainable. Dreaming, imagining a future and visualizing what do we really want to achieve? Well, if we do not change the model, no matter how much we change the origin of the raw material or measure our impacts, we will not truly achieve a future compatible with life.

But to create a true regenerative economy, we need to delve into the problems that are studied and the processes that are being improved in order to create changes that are truly transformative from current models to circular models. It is at this time that the Circular Economy is presented as the next link in this discovery process in which we find ourselves. Defined as “a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling”, the circular economy allows us to consider a future in which what is excluded from design is the generation of waste, something so important in the fashion industry.

The Circular Economy was described for the first time in the nineties by Pearce and Turner with the aim of clearly defining the existing relationships between the economy and the environment, around a fundamental concept: reduce, reuse and recycle; however, time and its application have contributed to the enrichment of this school of thought and today its complexity is greater: Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renew, Recover and Recycle.

How do we want the fashion of the future to be? Or even how do we want the future to be? These questions are the cornerstone on which new projects are drawing strength and inspiration to find the perfect balance between humanity, nature and technology. The economic as well as environmental advantages of these circular systems have contributed to the fact that more and more companies are structured around circular business models and with their implementation, the social aspects, one of the main weaknesses of the Economy. Circular is gaining relevance. Even more so in a sector such as fashion, in which so many industries are involved and whose consumption is increasing at a dizzying rate due to the increase in population and the rate of production.

So back to the initial question: is sustainability enough? The answer is no, but it is a very good starting point to be able to create new societies and new models. Thinking about a healthy and healthy future is almost as important as correcting the excesses that have brought us to this situation. Everything else is our desire to innovate, to create, to discover; and that is within our reach.

By Blanca Gomara,

Sustainable Fashion Consultant, Blanca Gomara | Spain

Sustainability / Fashion

Founder of 360flab

Blanca is founder of 360flab, a consulting firm for sustainable materials for the fashion and textile industry specialized in circular design that collaborates through training and consulting with new brands that are born with a sustainable heart as well as with established brands that want to make the transition like Inditex, OMINA Foundation, Gioseppo, etc.

After graduating as a fashion designer, Blanca specialized with a master’s degree in Fashion Product Management at IED Madrid and an MBA, and is currently pursuing a Master in Business Innovation and Project Management at the University of Mondragón. She has developed several cooperation and development projects in the business field within the circular economy framework, among which Patata Collective and The Hopy Project stand out (a modular pattern system to enable the training of illiterate women in Tailoring, a profession of tradition male and forbidden to women, in the district of Calcutta).

She was named Ashoka Emergent Innovator in 2019.

Functional fashion for wheelchair users: the social enterprise doing good business

When it comes to clothes, the options for people with disabilities can often be sparse.

Impractical, ill-fitting, styleless garb is frequently all that is available. Slovenian-Croatian startup UCQC is attempting to change that by creating functional, trendy and affordable fashion for wheelchair users.

For more information please visit the link.

Digital printing: the green alternative for the textile industry

There’s no doubt that the textile industry is one of the most environmentally damaging industries. And textile printing is the reason why.

One of the biggest issues of traditional textile printing is the massive amount of water and energy it consumes. For example, it takes about 2,700 liters of water to make just one cotton t-shirt.

Hence textile production is one of the most harmful things for the environment. And that’s not only due to the dying process, but also due to the manufacturing of the fabrics. However, in the past few years, the global textile industry has been focusing on becoming more and more sustainable.

One of the biggest revolutions in the industry has been the incorporation of digital textile printing technologies.

Digital printing saves huge amounts of water and it also generates fewer toxic chemicals. Yet those are not the only savings for the environment. The electricity used by digital printing is way lower than the produced by screen printing. Over 60% less. Fast fashion brands such as Inditex have started taking advantage of this technology.

Nevertheless the digital printing technique has also reached smaller businesses within the textile industry.

Allca, a rug brand, is one of those businesses that has joined the green alternative. The brand was actually born with the aim of exploring new creative possibilities. The challenge was to develop a desirable product through a sustainable process. Being a pioneer within the rug industry, Allca doesn’t only digitally print its rugs designs. The innovative rug brand also weaves them in a single mono-material: recycled post-consumer plastics. Those two characteristics of the brand reduce the water expenditure even more than digital printing does on its own. On the one hand, digital printing avoids the dying process saving loads of water. And on the other hand, using recycled plastic means there’s no need for irrigating the crops.

Also being a mono-material product means that its recycling is really feasible, serving for the creation of other polymeric products. The plastic can re-insert itself in the consumption chain. Therefore Allca uses recycled plastic that can be recycled again. Perfect way to give a new life to those plastics threatening our marine ecosystems worldwide. But those are not the only benefits the brand gets from digital printing. It also allows them to reduce its stock since they print the designs based on the interest of the clients. That way Allca can produce minimum quantities and be very flexible with customer demands. Moreover the technique offers a limitless color spectrum, so the graphic possibilities are endless. It definitely amplifies the expressive potential. And these are just some of the multiple advantages the technique offers.

So one thing is clear: digital printing is the future of the textile industry.

It is good for the planet, good for the customer and good for textile brands.

It is just a matter of time that little and big textile companies start joining the revolution.

For more information on the article please contact:

Haizea Nájera

haizeanajera@gmail.com

In search of the agents responsible: circular fashion in the current market

Assign blame is not the same as trying to find out who’s responsible for a certain phenomenon. Blaming someone carries a symbolic burden that, although it’s justified and unavoidable in some cases, contributes to generating an atmosphere of animosity and enmity that complicates taking common decisions aimed at reaching agreements. However, holding a specific agent accountable for action or effect can help us understand why a decision is made, its possible consequences, and give us essential information to correct it, knowing where to allocate resources and energy.

It is clear that the irruption of fast fashion materialized in large corporations and huge business tycoons, has meant a before and after in a system that, in recent decades, has not ceased to be subject to countless changes and unprecedented transformations. But is this system a response to customers’ needs, or is its appearance the trigger for a new mindset on the part of consumers? Blaming one of the two parties for the fatal effects that this way of making and understanding fashion, based on huge amounts of waste, the lack of environmental and social ethics and economies of scale, it’s not worth it.

However, trying to find out who is responsible for this unprecedented phenomenon can be very helpful. And the truth is that it is neither one nor the other. We could say that fast fashion is the result of a set of events and characteristics that, together with a generational change and endless advances in globalization, technology and distribution, made fashion extremely democratic. Much closer to an audience that demanded lower prices and a greater supply of products, but much more distant from the ecosystem that provides this and many other sectors with essential raw materials, which now run the risk of disappearing.

It is impossible to avoid talking about the economic component as a fundamental factor of these models that, although they are far from how the luxury market understands fashion,  have also seen in these new possibilities a way to increase and consolidate their profit margins. Producing costs much less, strictly numerically speaking, and generating waste seems to have no cost. In fact, it is much cheaper to discard everything that is considered useless, than to give it a second life or try to find alternatives where they can be used, thus reducing the environmental impact and contributing to generate a much more responsible model.

So, if big brands seem to have found in this aggressive and maximalist model their economic panacea, who should take the first step to change the foundations on which the fashion industry is built? The end customers. We have been led to believe for a long time that clients are the last link in a chain conceived and created by a group of powerful agents with the ability to decide what to do and what not to do, but it is a fallacy. We, as consumers, have the power to decide which brands, projects or initiatives goes ahead and are consolidated in the market, through our acts and decisions as a consequence of a process, conscious and unconscious, of internal reflection and debate. And in the same way, we are capable of redefining the pillars of the models already established, leading them towards forms of production that are much more connected to the reality and needs of the world in which we live.

Why are there brands included in the fast fashion segment that are now committed to sustainability, at least apparently, in the form of collaborations with designers known for reducing resources to a minimum or projects that have been seeking solutions to the prevailing overproduction in today’s world for years? Because they have realized that society is increasingly aware that the model implemented, and from which they have made the most of in recent years, has no future. Circularity begins to consolidate as a fundamental value in the minds of consumers, capable of destroying or exponentially raising a brand. And while there are still many steps to be taken, materializing the discourse and the image that is being projected in real and permanent changes over time, there is no doubt we are on the right track.

Synergies between creatives, projects and companies can help implement circular fashion models in a system. On the one hand, those for whom this way of understanding and making fashion is indisputable, and whose initiatives were created from the beginning on this pillar. On the other hand, agents capable of bringing these models closer to the large market, finding a balance in which the needs of all the parties involved are satisfied, and taking advantage of their productive, economic and influencing capacities to consolidate the changes little by little. There are no culprits, but responsible ones capable of making fashion (and the world) a better place.

 

 By David Alarcón Castejón

Profesión: Editor de moda freelance & PR

CV: Graduado en Marketing y después de haber colaborado con distintas revistas independientes, nacionales e internacionales, como Vein Magazine, Fucking Young! o Herdes, David Alarcón trabaja actualmente como online content editor de la cabecera internacional Metal Magazine en Madrid, además de ser responsable de comunicación y prensa de la firma de moda emergente Marlo Studio. Habiendo publicado en Vanity Teen, Kluid Magazine o Wag1 Magazine, conduce su propia sección en el podcast La Moda Que Nos Parió.

The Concept of Circular Economy

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “the circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by intention; aims to rely on renewable energy; minimises, tracks and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals; and eradicates waste through careful design ”; being its main proposal to understand the operation and optimization of systems instead of their components.

A circular economy represents not only a paradigm shift in which waste is rebuilt into resources through reuse and recycling, but it is also about achieving a greater economic boost through efficiency in the use of resources and their industrial transformation . And although in recent decades many minds have been inspired by the questions posed by the circular economy, today these questions are being answered not only by the most environmentalist profiles but by the bulk of the population, from the European Commission (which has developed a plan on Circular Economy for the Year 2025), to large consultancies such as McKinsey (which has just published a report on the impacts of fashion on climate change) to financial institutions (ESG *) .

Video: The basic concept of circular economy, from Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCRKvDyyHmI

However, to go from a linear economy based on the “make-use-throw” system to a restorative economy, it requires more than recovery or recycling of waste into new products through circular systems. In its project “The Great recovery”, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) established a series of guidelines supposed to help design professionals to introduce regeneration as another design principle within their future products and services.

Image: RSA’s The Great Recovery project product and service design.

But to achieve a true paradigm shift we need to pay attention to the scale of these systems; to the biomaterials used in these models and to their sustainable regeneration; to the decarbonization of production systems and the implementation of renewable energies and above all, we must think about how these new economic models are contributing to local, regional and global social and environmental regeneration; and although it is true that we have not yet achieved it, we have undoubtedly set the path to get there. Not to every single product but to our lifestyle and humanness.

A clear example of this is the city of Amsterdam, which recently announced its Transition Plan “The Amsterdam city donut” for the year 2050, following the name given to these models almost a decade ago by the economist Kate Raworth. Among the companies leading this transition plan, it is not surprising to find one of the fashion pioneers in terms of bringing circularity to the fashion industry: Fashion for Good, a global platform for innovation, aiming to make all fashion good, sparking and scaling innovation and by doing so, bringing the whole industry together.

All these changes require a profound transformation of the companies’ value chain and if there is no doubt about one thing, is that each one of them will require a series of actions and efforts to carry them out. Brands such as Stella McCartney and Adidas are working collaboratively to create collections in which to explore and improve the qualities of materials based on the durability of the product, while making the production chain more transparent and traceable; MUD Jeans, a leading brand founded in the Netherlands incorporates a circular business model to produce its popular items. In addition to its high quality long lasting pieces designed from eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified organic and recycled cotton, customers can rent jeans, instead of buying them, and when they need a new pair, return them to MUD to be recycled into new denim and receive a discount on their next pair. Customers can even recycle other brands’ jeans as long as they are made from at least 96% of pure cotton. And The R Collective has taken it one step further with the launch of ‘Refashioned’, an on-demand service allowing customers to choose from a 20 piece collection and tailoring it to their size and preferred fabric. This model fully embodies slow and circular fashion where instead of producing mass amounts of clothing items that may not sell, the label is able to make the exact needed products to order, thus eliminating the potential waste!

Image: MUD jeans product life-cycle. From: www.mudjeans.eu

Companies that operate under a “closed-loop” model control the creation of their products, but are also responsible for their end of life, as well as their recovery and reuse. This has accelerated a transition that has long been forging in an increasingly liquid society: the shift from the consumption of products to the use of services, and all that this entails. Second-hand rental and sale systems (such as The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Ecodicta or Lamasmona); infrastructures for the correct collection of waste, separation and subsequent recycling (such as the Europeanproject ReHub led by Euratex, which will mean the creation of 5 textile recycling hubs in Europe); and digital technologies that allow better monitoring of resources, making radical transparency real.

In the field of materials, a new philosophy is nourishing: materials are created avoiding waste-generation and eliminating pollution, and extended durability and continuous improvement of the production process are creation drivers. One of the best representatives of this practices is Agraloop, from Circular Systems, an American company specialized in transforming food waste into innovative fibers for the fashion industry.

Image: Agraloop Process Overview from Waste Stream to garment manufacturing. From: www.agraloop.com

In the same line of action, although from a radically opposite perspective, we find an alternative to the industrial production of materials: regenerative organic agriculture. The change from an industrial production to these new, and at the same time ancestral, practices can contribute significantly to increasing the absorption of carbon by the soil, conserving water, restoring biodiversity and consequently, protecting animals and contributing to the economic stability of farmers, since through actions for gender equality, such as the payment of equal wages or indiscriminate access to education, the social and economic position of workers can improve. Undoubtedly, an attractive path that has already been undertaken by international companies such as The North face or Timberland, who in 2030 have set the goal of being 100% circular.

So, how can we really create the business models that make a real change? we all should take responsibility for the impacts our designs are doing while being produced or consumed. The first step in doing so is the realization that a business model should always be broader than just a product or a wish. Realizing that  we humans should not aim to not making more damage, but to create more good comes next. Let’s dare to care, innovate!

 

By Blanca Gomara,

Sustainable Fashion Consultant

Theory into practice: young designers bet on circular fashion.

Words by David Alarcón

Is it a desire or an imperative need? Sometimes, when we talk about circular fashion, sustainability or production patterns that means the use of waste in the form of a second life or new garments with which to make the most of existing resources, I have the feeling that the focus is on the concept, while its materialization tends to be left behind. And of course, it is not the emerging designers who invest their time in speeches and empty words, but a large part of consumers and big companies, who despite the situation the world is facing, are still unable to understand the magnitude of the problem and the imminent danger that confronts us. Young designers and recent graduates are well aware of what circularity means. The same happens with concepts such as responsibility and ethics. And they know it precisely because they have been forced, in a certain sense, to apply it to their projects and brands.

We are living in an era defined by the economic recession, precariousness and lack of resources, to which we must add the insufficient support in certain contexts towards the creatives who will be the future big names in fashion. Three of the pillars of this economic model, consisting of reduction, reuse and recycling, are part of their lives, whether they want to or not. Few of them can supply themselves with textiles and materials unlimitedly, without paying attention to the cost involved. Almost none of them can afford to discard leftover fabrics once a garment is made. The very limited resources, coupled with an extraordinary creativity and great passion for this profession, turn circularity and consciousness into two fundamental pillars of the new generation of designers.

Special mention should be made on projects such as the one undertaken by the Spanish emerging fashion brand Reparto Studio https://repartostudio.com/ , whose last collection was entirely base based on the upcycling technique. Was this an express intention coming from the design duo, aware of the need to reverse the linear and expansive model that has prevailed in the sector? It may be, but what is clear is that it was a way to subsist in a difficult industry that forces designers to make the intellect their greatest ally, and that threatens to make all those who are not part of a large conglomerate or a large-scale supply chain disappear, even more in countries where fashion is not considered as culture. It’s here where emerging design is continually disconnected from functionality, categorized as art devoid of practicality.

It is worth highlighting the brand’s efforts to bring this new way of understanding fashion closer, which despite breaking with the intensive system, draws from the past and the traditional manufacturing techniques, to the public, reducing the profit margins and getting very competitive prices for a young brand. In their case, they did so by expanding the range of proposals, including accessories made from leftovers from previous collections, in addition to garments resulting from many hours of work.

Meanwhile, other brands try to make circularity happen through coalitions with large platforms, being able to reach a greater number of people and spreading the message in society. A good example of this was the collection presented by María Escoté https://www.mariaescote.com/welcome/  in collaboration with Wallapop at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, made from articles that users of the application had previously put on sale, converting them all in a collection worth of being unveiled on a catwalk. More experienced brands such as Moisés Nieto https://www.moisesnieto.com/upcycling  show their commitment to this cause in the form of a new service, available on his website, in which he invites his regular customers to create new garments from pieces they already have in their closets. Technique and know-how at the service of the end user, who demands uniqueness, exclusivity and differentiation. Something that can be perfectly achieved from existing elements, taking advantage of their sentimental and symbolic value to turn them into relics capable of overcoming the passage of time.

From proposals such as the one leaded by Danish designer Bettina Bakdal http://www.bettinabakdal.dk/ , who being exhausted from a meaningless production model decided to start creating from recycled scarves and fabrics, to Arturo Obegero’s https://www.arturoobegero.com/  collection, who has just made his debut at Paris Fashion Week and works exclusively with leftover fabrics from haute couture houses, acknowledging not wanting to champion responsibility by considering that it is a duty to which we all must be committed.

It is clear that, whether due to social and environmental awareness or to necessity, issues such as circularity or sustainability are present in the discourse and work of young designers. And the major challenge they face now is to bring it closer to a generation of consumers who want to look different in front of the mirror every day. A trend accentuated by social networks and a model of society based on the image, who has got used to making fashion something to hang out, buying at bargain prices and being able to not think beyond the visible in terms of production, ethics and responsibility. But if there is one thing that unites younger consumers and those who are already betting on these new production models, it is the desire to be unique and different from others. And that is a differential factor that circular fashion starts to cling to, to make the most of it.

Nombre: David Alarcón Castejón

Profesión: Editor de moda freelance & PR

CV: Graduado en Marketing y después de haber colaborado con distintas revistas independientes, nacionales e internacionales, como Vein Magazine, Fucking Young! o Herdes, David Alarcón trabaja actualmente como online content editor de la cabecera internacional Metal Magazine en Madrid, además de ser responsable de comunicación y prensa de la firma de moda emergente Marlo Studio. Habiendo publicado en Vanity Teen, Kluid Magazine o Wag1 Magazine, conduce su propia sección en el podcast La Moda Que Nos Parió.

THE STORY OF REPRINT CERAMICS

THE IDEA

REPRINT CERAMICS is actually the result of the combination of two innovative concepts: the 3D clay printing technique developed by Coudre and the re/upcycling method for ceramics by Fabrique Publique. The Worth project brought the two together. The idea was planted at the Design week in Milan 2019, where Fabrique Publique met with one of the Worth representatives. Later on, Coudre and Fabrique Publique were introduced to each other and it immediately clicked, both professionally as well as personally.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT

The project was born out of the need to provide more circular options for the 3D clay printing industry. By using post-industrial and post-consumer ceramics’ waste as a resource for making new high-quality products, the project wants to show that the use of waste can reduce supply chain costs and improve the ecological footprint. Moreover, during the project it became clear that the recycled clay provides further benefits, compared to regular clay, in the sense that it is stronger and more stable after second firing.

The challenge of our project is the multi-tiered output that has to be achieved in a relatively short period of time. This output consists of 4 pillars:

– a 3D printed lamp with recycled content;

– pre-made recycled clay packages;

– an open-source knowledge platform;

– workshops and consultancy: how to print with our recipe.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

The final prototype of the lamp was developed after thorough research and a series of tests into the additives that were necessary to ensure the plasticity of the clay and perfect viscosity for extrusion with the 3D printer. After that we continued working on the designs. At DDW20, we presented (digitally) our first tests with the 30 % of recycled material as well as some first draft designs. The development of the recycled clay packages went hand in hand with the research and testing for the lamps. Crucial to both the lamps and the clay packages was to find a solution for the supply of the discarded ceramics as well as for grinding it. Luckily, we were approached by Dutch thrift shops, who wanted to get rid of their ceramics’ waste materials and were looking for a co-operation with us. THE STORY OF REPRINT CERAMICS This means continuity in the supply of waste materials. For the grinder, it is a bit more complicated. Right now, we are looking into the possibilities of buying a grinder in Breda, to start locally with grinding the materials and making the clay packages. This will be done with an atelier that works with people that have a distance to the labour market. Funding for the grinder was provided by the commune of Breda.

THE COLLABORATION

We managed to find a good working relation even though the Corona crisis forced us to work together online instead of working together in the workshop. Every week we exchanged views and discussed next steps in the process. We really loved the interaction and being fortunate to take decisions as a group instead of individually. Further, the fact that we were able to work so well together, enabled us to dive deeper and crystallise our ideas into real products.

THE FUTURE

We would start with a small-scale production. The lamps will be made to order, printed locally and recycled locally. In the beginning, the lamps will therefore be printed from our locations in Barcelona, for distribution in Spain/Portugal, and in Breda, for other countries. If this is successful, co-operation will be sought with 3D clay printers in other EU countries to print the lamps locally there with local clay and local recycling.

THE MESSAGE

For us its clear, we would not have been able to develop this project without the input of the other partner and without the support of the Worth Partnership.

For more information please visit the website or contact Heineke de Leeuw (hanneke@fabriquepublique.nl)

Rome is my Runway#2: ZEROBARRACENTO parades for ALTAROMA 2021 at Cinecittà

Rome Fashion Week (18-20 February 2021) has just ended in the Italian capital, hosted by the magical and stimulating studios of Cinecittà. This year was an all-digital version of the fashion shows, which allowed a free and virtual meeting through the Altaroma Digital Runway platform, between professionals in the fashion sector, buyers and fans.

Once again Altaroma, as a driving force and explorer of emerging Italian fashion and new trends, has managed to identify and accentuate the important focus that the fashion system must pursue as a future value: sustainability.

ZEROBARRACENTO presented the autumn winter 2021/2022 collection “THE RISE OF 0 WASTE FASHION”, an expression of moderation and awareness, created following the values of the brand: 0% waste and gender, 100% sustainability, which means traceability, transparency and inclusiveness. In this collection there is a bold expression of fluidity, versatility, equality and modularity. The seasonless garments with deconstructed shapes were able to convey on the catwalk the sense of calm and balance that characterize the new collection. An ideal setting created by lighting and the symbolic colors of the expressive freedom that ZEROBARRACENTO represents. Faithful to its identity, the show was a perfect representation of ZEROBARRACENTO’s DNA: a place outside of gender, age and time. The colors (Blue leap, Black Onyx, Forged Grey, Amber Gold, Red Clay e Rhododendron) are compact and play on the combination of complementary shades. The materials used, thanks to the Re.VerSoTM circular economy, transparent and traceable production process, combines science and technology, obtaining high quality, 100% made in Italy, re-engineered wool and baby camel. The precious drape fit is given by 100% BembergTM by Asahi Kasei fabrics. The new generation material is made from the smart-tech transformation of cotton linter pre-consumer materials and converted through a traceable and transparent closed loop process.

Big part of the materials selected for this collection are sourced from the C.L.A.S.S. SMART SHOP, the inspirational materials’ bank and samples’ e-shop, that includes a premium selection of the C.L.A.S.S. Material Hub’s materials, for students, designers and brands willing to explore and test sustainable fabrics. The patterns are developed, as in all ZEROBARRACENTO collections, with zero-waste technique that eliminates textile waste in the design phase, an approach that helps reduce the use of raw materials.
Generally, 15% of the raw material is wasted in the cutting room. The search for traceability and transparency continues. As always, both design and production take place in
Italy, even the materials are all made in Italy, coming from certified suppliers and the production chain is circular, not linear. A supply chain that is told in a totally transparent way on the brand website zerobarracento.com dedicated to the increasingly aware contemporary consumer.

The collection, available on the Altaroma – Showcase website, will remain visible online for all buyers until May 31, 2021.

For further information please contact:
Rebecca Giraldi
press@zerobarracento.com
+393407423867

 

 

The Andalusian designer Leandro Cano presents SIEMPRE A TU VERA

For the spring-summer season 2021, the Andalusian designer Leandro Cano  brings with his collection SIEMPRE A TU VERA  the iconic Spanish singers to the time of the unveiling cinema, as a continuation of the inspiration of these Spanish artists that he presented last March in Paris. As a novelty, in this collection, Leandro introduces for the first time male clothes within his proposal.

With SIEMPRE A TU VERA, Leandro Cano closes this artistic collection divided in two seasons about these great women who have been inspiration and pioneers of the advancement of women in society. Moreover, as the name of the collection indicates (SIEMPRE A TU VERA/ALWAYS AT YOUR SIDE), in the turbulent times we are living, means that we keep on working and fighting with the same illusion as always.

As in the previous collection, all the women’s dresses have been made following the same silhouette. This time, it is a mini dress with a box neck and and padded skirt. Men’s line is composed by a jumpsuit, a maxi shirt, an oversized bomber, legging, canvas pants, a raffia cropped jacket and padded underwear. As can be seen in the looks, the man has been given the volume at the top, and the women at the bottom, creating the mirror effect between them.

Discover more about Leandro’ collection on his instagram profile https://www.instagram.com/leandrocano/ 

 

 

 

 

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