Italian innovation: Eco Concious innovation. A chic buyers' trend or more
- WTI Magazine #110 Dec 15, 2018
If the saying is true that we are what we wear, and if we are an integral part of our environment, then are most of us living in urban areas, assimilating chemicals, or are we composed of acrylic material and plastics, or absorbing pollution? What one wears, eats, drinks, absorbs, is becoming a choice, as there truly are innovative solutions that are conscious of the environment and would like to bring fourth awareness to what has become a fragile eco-system, for the environment and for us.
Some truly forward thinking, all Italian companies, are standing out, and need not only to be recognized for their efforts and quality of product manufacturing, rather also need a push to become an integral part of consumer buying trends for all costumers – of all ages, as well as city planning agents, and for the general public as a whole.
Creative Pollution Absorbing Agents
Most people won’t know this, but on Via del Porto Fluviale, in Rome, Italy there is the biggest and most creative Mural in Europe, and not only does it absorb pollution, but it also beautifies the building and the area as a whole. The mural measures nearly square meters, and is made of anti- pollution paint- or rather pollution eating paint – and it stands on a wall giving area an eccentric and modern flare to what used to be a mere old Roman building. The company that created these unique paint products is called Airlite tech, an all Italian start up, which works support the grand cause of getting the message out on the dangers of pollution and create products apt to fight pollution. A message being put out there by Airlite researchers is that, according to the World Health Organization, more than 15% of chronical diseases are cause by poor air quality, so why not fight the danger? Every day one is exposed to harmful pollutants and bacteria, and that happens indoors and outdoors. An interesting fact, that most aren’t aware of, according to diverse research studies is that the amount of indoor pollution present, is greater than that which is outdoors. Now days we spend nearly 80 percent of our lives indoors and according to the US EPA, the air can be up to 1000 times more toxic then that which outside … so indoor anti-bacterial and pollution paint – here we come!
The awareness for such creative ways to fight pollution, is not only occurring in Europe or in the US, but in Mexico as well, specifically in Mexico City. In Mexico City researchers also, quickly realized that, relatively straightforward chemical reactions can be created, and put to use, to improve air quality, and such processes can be triggered by the help of the sun. If one adds creative design, as done in Mexico, and places it on a hospital wall – outdoor area – for example like that place on the Torre de Especialidades building – one is shielded by an eye-catching 100-yard-long façade made with special tiles that have serious air-scrubbing abilities and protect our inhalation of air.
Not only are there ways to give cities a fresher look, but there are also ways to breath better within urban areas thanks to truly forwarding thinking individuals, who are aware of our plant’s fragile eco-system.
Eco-friendly, ethical and Sustainable Chic Fashion Exists
Other than paint absorbing paints, there are also other ways in which Italian companies, and American ones alike, are becoming more conscious of eco-friendly practices… such as by creating clothing lines that that use ethical and sustainable practices in the manufacturing process.
Orange Fiber, would be the ideal example for such cause. Orange Fiber uses organic material to manufacture its ethically made fabrics and for such mission it has been recognized a number of times. The brand won a Global Change Award, presented by the H&M Foundation, it was one the 15 brands selected for the Good-Plug and Play Accelerator, granting it access to mentorships based on their mission - from major companies such as Galeries Lafayette, Target, and even Zalando. Specifically the company is known for their state of the art, orange fiber’s vegan silk, which was featured in a number lines, of diverse brands, such as Ferragamo. Thought oranges were merely a fruit meant for eating? Think again – one can wear it and be conscious to the environment!
Speaking of Italian excellence, another example of support over eco- friendly practices in fashion, is the case of Progetto QUID, the cooperative funded in 2013 by Anna Fiscale, in Verona. Inside Progetto QUID workshop, fabric scraps, remnants and offcuts from the entire textile chain production – surplus, samples and trial collections – are reworked into beautiful fabrics that would, otherwise, remain shut away in archives or warehouses. Their pieces are all hand-made items, which is truly rare to find now days, as one knows how much less expensive it would be to have the same pieces be made by machines. Be on the lookout for Anna Fiscale!
Another brand dedicated to ethical and conscious fashion, is Cecilia Rinaldi. Who created clothing and accessories based on the environmental and social sustainability using fabrics and organic materials produced only in Italy. Each collection they create, is through the idea of Slow Fashion - emphasizing sustainability, beauty, longevity and respect for humanity. The Italian style is combined with a deconstructed form influenced by different Asian cultures resulting in a refined and minimal urban chic style. Rinaldi put emphasis on promoting continual research into new innovative methods while referencing – at all times- Italian traditions to maintain high quality products with a low environmental impact. The prices they offer for their products are also at a competitive rate – as they provide the option to buy one quality garment over multiple low quality items contributes to reducing the environmental impact of a wardrobe.
Eco-friendly fashion trends and consciously wearing fabrics that are “green” also includes, knowing what those fabrics are. Eco-friendly wear includes fabrics that one wouldn’t naturally think of, from fruit peel to Bamboo fiber, for example, which is hardy, highly renewable grass and is generally grown with few chemical inputs. The fabric also has natural antibacterial properties, breathes and is biodegradable. Another, is organic cotton fiber, made with cotton that is grown without toxic, synthetic chemical inputs or industrial hemp, which is rapidly renewable, requires little or no pesticides, grows without fertilizer, requires minimum attention, doesn’t deplete soil nutrients and is easy to harvest. In addition, Soy cashmere/silk fiber, which is made from soy protein fiber left over after processing soybeans into food or Tencel fabric, made from natural cellulose wood pulp and is fully biodegradable.
In Europe and in Italy the trends, the efforts, as well as the genuine support are clear, eco-friendly fashion is the way to the future. Bianca Balti, Italian world-class super model dedicated to promoting the most diverse causes, also launched her eco-friendly clothing line. All over Italy and the EU, as well as the US, fashion companies are being more aware of the environment. In the US - companies such as Everlene, Pact, Thread Up are all promoting the same ethical ways to support fashion that is eco-conscious and sustainable.
What eco – wear, will we be purchasing next? And what creative new item will be made to absorb pollutants?
Whatever the trends are – we are excited!