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May 7, 2020 9:44:33 AM

Sustainability in luxury fashion does exist? Yes, and it matters for fashion education!


Luxury and sustainability have been recently well described by Giorgio Armani[1], “luxury cannot and must not be fast” because “luxury needs time to be achieved and appreciated”. This phrase, released by the designer during an interview in the days of the world pandemic, implies a great truth, that behind a luxury product there is a need for time and respect for this time. If a product is of Luxury, then this will be a product in which its manufacture, its materials, the time it will take to realize it, the story it will tell will have greater importance than the cost, high, it will have. And that high cost will be necessary to recognize the “value" of those who made it, the materials that compose it, the time it will take to realize it and the history it expresses.

Sustainability in fashion can sometimes be a controversial word, which can be almost an oxymoron despite being one of the industrial sectors in which there is a great need for sustainability in all phases of the product’s life cycle. In fashion, sustainability is expressed in the respect of the environment, and in the preservation of its resources, as much as it is social and economic sustainability at a time when we are talking about human work that produces the value we surround ourselves with.

Although fashion is therefore described as the glittering and carefree world, this is actually a sector that occupies a large part of the world industry, responsible like many other sectors for the consequences that fall on Earth. Despite this, in recent years, the Italian clothing industry has made very interesting advances and above all the jagged sector of the research-and-development of materials-textiles has produced very interesting innovations; leading manufacturers of synthetic fibers and yarns, for example, have developed product lines from PET recycling. We have increased the synthetic materials #bio-based, which is generated by renewable materials, and we witness the intensification of the experimentation of biopolymers obtained from waste of the agro-food chain as in the case of the OrangeFiber, born from the waste of oranges of Sicily, or of the Appleskin, the biopolymer made by Frumat with apple waste from Alto Adige (skins, cores) mixed with polyurethane (50%) and merged to fabrics.

In the Master in Fashion Direction: Product Sustainability Management the theme of the recyclability of woven materials becomes an objective of primary importance because, in addition to contributing to mitigate the devastating phenomenon of waste production, can stimulate the birth of a renewed chain-production articulated in activities of collection, sorting, regeneration, research and innovation, design while multiplying employment opportunities. From the already known CSR Manager to professional figures for the management of the product/service system and the production process, with a view to sustainability in luxury fashion companies: from the reporting and the blockchain to the circular-economy expected in the management field, to the materials, the finishings and the innovative materials for a product careful not only to the environmental aspect but also to the social and economic one. Regulations, laws, and processes of environmental impact assessment (#LCA) up to green commercial spaces and social communication processes.

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[1]   https://www.pambianconews.com/2020/04/06/effetto-covid-cosi-si-muove-armani-occasione-per-riallinearsi-290302/?fbclid=IwAR2heoT25I_syyuYtSBeqnrRRVGfw0VeDhgA7T5iIsEdmGN0llVg-RhCVTs