Blowing in the green wind of the G7
The shows go beyond the Fashion Pact
di Giulia Crivelli
3' di lettura
There is a wind blowing over us, touching everyone in its path, even those who claim not to feel it. A wind that has the same origins: the need to make the health of the environment and people the focal point of our conduct, considering the global consequences of all our actions and behaviours, both individual and corporate.
It is a wind that also blows through the complex and globalised fashion industry. On the eve of the late-August G7 summit in Biarritz, France, 32 global stakeholders in the luxury textiles, clothing and accessories supply chain signed a pledge to combat global warming, preserve biodiversity and protect the oceans. However, the difference between fashion and other industries is that the businesses in the sector felt this wind blowing long before the others. Perhaps they even helped to generate it, in a virtuous circle comprising the intuitions of the world of production and the needs and demands of consumers. Rather than simply going with the flow, now they want to ride this growing wave of change in order to exploit its impetus.
If not, they risk going under. This applies to the entire industry and in particular the Italian fashion system, the only one in the world still intact, and the associations that represent it. For a number of years environmental and social sustainability has been the focal point of the analysis, programmes and strategies of Confindustria Moda, which has brought together the Assopellettieri (leather goods), Federorafi (jewellers), Assocalzaturifici (footwear), UNIC (tanning), AIP (furs), Sistema moda Italia (SMI) and Anfao (eyewear) associations, and a key issue for the National Chamber of Italian Fashion and Pitti Immagine, the company that organises fashion trade events in Florence.
This commitment will be demonstrated during the women’s fashion week, in Milan until Monday, one of the four organised each year, which will culminate with the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. Now in their third year, they will be presented on 22 September at La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house. The Oscars of green fashion are organised by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion headed by Carlo Capasa existed well before the Fashion Pact. Now, to return to our nautical metaphor, they have the wind at their back as they seek to reach maximum speed and the most ambitious horizons. But, as any keen sailor knows, the size of the craft is not important, what counts is that the boats are stable. And the companies in the Italian fashion sector most certainly are and could become beacons for other industries. Because beacons are undoubtedly what we need to navigate the present and look without (too much) fear towards the future. In fact, wherever you look the revolution has already begun, in defiance of the futurists who talk about blockchains, automatons with human faces and the space economy. We have even seen the opening of the Museum of the Future in Dubai, which says much about the presumptuousness of homo sapiens. But in the real world, that of the economy, of everyday life, many sectors, like the fashion industry, have begun to acknowledge this wind of change. The air transport industry, for example, has begun to report on its environmental footprint: the Financial Times recently defined it the “Greta effect”. The car industry is studying new business models and alliances, pressed by the demand for electric vehicles, by the accusations of environmentalists and by the apathy towards car ownership, regarded by new generations as commodities rather than status symbols. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry is being pressured to find alternatives to smoking like e-cigarettes and light cannabis, where intelligently legalised.
Open to outside influence, both by definition and tradition, being the universal language that it is fashion could be a powerful catalyst in all these areas. With all due respect to those who think we are only talking about clothes and bags.