Milan Becomes A Sustainable Hub

The organizers of ready-to-wear fair WHITE MILANO staged the world’s first high-end sustainable fashion trade show here, in an event that unfurled between January 11 and 12 at Milan’s BASE location in the city’s district. 

Dubbed WSM (WHITE SUSTAINABLE MILANO), the fair was attended by 4000 visitors and a noted presence of Asian buyers, WHITE said. “We have long term goals and a long-term  to sustainability,” said WHITE’s president Massimiliano Bizzi.

“There has been a lot invested in this fair,” said Carlo Capasa, president of Italy’s fashion chamber Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana on the penultimate day of mens fashion week.

About 80 brands and sustainable 20 startups participated in the event that was also sponsored by Italian buyer consortium Camera Buyer Italia and vanguard brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, which brought a section of its Sustainable Thinking exhibit to the Milan trade grounds.

“What is the most interesting is the interaction between brands and startups and the conversation going on here,” said Giusy Cannone, Milan’s Fashion Tech Accelerator Managing Director who has a pulse on international startups present in sectors from the circular retail economy to artificial intelligence.

In an attempt to comply with the Italian Chamber of Fashion’s sustainability goals for 2025, larger players like Prada, Versace, and Gucci are moving slowly but surely.

This season, Ermenegildo Zegna cut waste by 50 percent up from 20 a season earlier, while Emporio Armani unveiled a capsule collection of 18 up-cycled garments some emblazoned with the slogan “I’m Saying Yes to Recycling.”

“I’d say that almost every brand has a sustainable component in their collection,” said Capasa, who with Livia Firth of Eco Age pulled off the first Green Carpet Awards here — now in its third year.

While major conglomerates like LVMH, Kering and Inditex have touted their ambitious plans before an international stage, real change in Milan and the rest of Italy has been happening behind the scenes.

Textile makers like the Albini Group are at the forefront of manufacturing organic and eco-friendly fabrics. Others like denim fabric group Candiani, yarn makers Filpucci and Cariaggi, and startups like Orange Fiber (which also had a stand at WSM) are making it possible for luxury designers worldwide to create fashions that are made with up-cycled materials or biomatter. Milano Unica, the largest textile fair in the nation, has been focused on shining the spotlight on sustainability and the advancements taking place within the textiles market in Italy for the past four years.

Small and large brands alike believe that if vanguard labels stampede into the sustainable market, it will drive down the costs for the entire sector.

One of those small brands, Bav Tailor was at the inaugural edition of the WSM fair.  Famous for her flair with up-cycled fish skins and coated leaves, she is one of the most notable high-end sustainable Italy-based designers.

“The line of buyers was out the door at 9 am,” said Tailor, who now sells her fashions worldwide and is focusing on the US market.

“This fair has a good calibre of international participants and designers. I was surprised at first and I think it’s going extremely well.” 

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Loewe's Playful Wardrobe
By Gianluca Cantaro
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative...
By Gianluca Cantaro
By Gianluca Cantaro
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative Director Jonathan Anderson after the Loewe show. "I imagined a child that plays with mom's ball gown in front of the mirror, giving a 2D effect to the 3D object.” Being positive is often...
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative Director Jonathan Anderson after the Loewe show. "I imagined a child that plays with mom's ball gown in front of the mirror, giving a 2D effect to the 3D object.” Being positive is often synonymous with being light-hearted, something that lets you enjoy life (and clothes) as it is without any...
Personal Narratives and Powerful Duos
By Elisabeta Tudor & Marta Represa
For her second foray into Paris Fashion Week, Emily Bode chose a venue in the 16ème...
By Elisabeta Tudor & Marta Represa
By Elisabeta Tudor & Marta Represa
For her second foray into Paris Fashion Week, Emily Bode chose a venue in the 16ème arrondissement, turning it into a minimal garden as a backdrop for her characteristic brand of Americana. Although the Atlanta-born designer debuted her business less than three years ago, she has already made a...
For her second foray into Paris Fashion Week, Emily Bode chose a venue in the 16ème arrondissement, turning it into a minimal garden as a backdrop for her characteristic brand of Americana. Although the Atlanta-born designer debuted her business less than three years ago, she has already made a name for herself by repurposing antique household fabrics — sourced at flea markets from New England...
Dior's Kim Jones Pays Homage to Judy Blame
By Gianluca Cantaro
Kim Jones for Dior Homme paid homage to friend and fashion icon Judy Blame, the forward-thinking...
By Gianluca Cantaro
Kim Jones for Dior Homme paid homage to friend and fashion icon Judy Blame, the forward-thinking British designer. He was an iconoclast and Jones drew copiously from this heritage. Due to the designer's passion for couture, the show was a parade of dandies wearing tailored moire silks with big...
Kim Jones for Dior Homme paid homage to friend and fashion icon Judy Blame, the forward-thinking British designer. He was an iconoclast and Jones drew copiously from this heritage. Due to the designer's passion for couture, the show was a parade of dandies wearing tailored moire silks with big cockades, precious wools both knitted and used for voluminous coats and dramatic opera gloves that...
The Art of Craftsmanship and Contemplation
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
If there is one indisputable trend this season, it's the...
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
If there is one indisputable trend this season, it's the tailoring reboot. And that means one thing: it's Pierre Mahéo's moment. With his brand Officine Générale, the Parisian designer has always had a clear agenda: to make timeless casual chic...
If there is one indisputable trend this season, it's the tailoring reboot. And that means one thing: it's Pierre Mahéo's moment. With his brand Officine Générale, the Parisian designer has always had a clear agenda: to make timeless casual chic clothes meant to really be worn.    His suits are immediately recognizable and include tapered...
Vulnerable Masculinity and Versatile Workwear
By Elisabeta Tudor
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands...
By Elisabeta Tudor
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands were turning to more formal styling, this third day was marked by a less assertive, more fluid take on masculinity.  Chinese designer Sean Suen explored fluid tailoring infused with dark romance. His...
While the first two days of the Paris' Fall/Winter 2020 menswear shows showed that several brands were turning to more formal styling, this third day was marked by a less assertive, more fluid take on masculinity.  Chinese designer Sean Suen explored fluid tailoring infused with dark romance. His light workwear pieces came with a hint of sophisticated tailoring. They were characterized by a...
Virgil Abloh’s Tailored Louis Vuitton
By Gianluca Cantaro
The power of today's communication and branding are tools...
By Gianluca Cantaro
The power of today's communication and branding are tools that big Maisons like Louis Vuitton have mastered and the hype around the acclaimed monogram boosted by name of the designer, Virgil Abloh from Off-White, affected their men's line. Since Abloh...
The power of today's communication and branding are tools that big Maisons like Louis Vuitton have mastered and the hype around the acclaimed monogram boosted by name of the designer, Virgil Abloh from Off-White, affected their men's line. Since Abloh started his master plan and developed the company’s sampling, he has turned the brand into a...
Romanticism in Tailoring by Valentino
By Gianluca Cantaro
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar...
By Gianluca Cantaro
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar atmosphere, emphasising romanticism – the main theme of the collection. The tailoring approach that Pierpaolo Piccioli used for jackets, coats, suits and sportswear was stiff and structured. The...
The delicate music and voice of Fka Twigs's live performance gave the Valentino show a peculiar atmosphere, emphasising romanticism – the main theme of the collection. The tailoring approach that Pierpaolo Piccioli used for jackets, coats, suits and sportswear was stiff and structured. The romanticism aspect was expressed by fluid lines mixed with a distinct design: the jackets were opened on...
Formalwear and Future Nostalgia
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with...
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with the Études show. The Parisian collective has made a name for itself by cleverly anticipating trends ad infusing them with their own identity, creating unpretentious, super covetable collections. If this...
Day 2 of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at a derelict building on the 15eme arrondissement with the Études show. The Parisian collective has made a name for itself by cleverly anticipating trends ad infusing them with their own identity, creating unpretentious, super covetable collections. If this season was no exception, that means we’re in for a tailoring comeback: pleated and tapered trousers...