The Time is Now / IED, CID & Greenpeace at Pitti Uomo 96

If we foresee a future in which sustainable fashion is the norm, fashion students must be at the frontline in learning about and producing collections with sustainable raw materials, created without chemicals, without waste, and that can be easily recycled. At Pitti Immagine Uomo 96, Istituto Europeo di Design together with CID-Detox and Greenpeace Italia presented five capsule collections called “The Time is Now!”. This is their statement.

Sustainable fashion is not just a passing trend but an urgent issue. On this theme, in January Istituto Europeo di Design together with Consorzio Italiano Implementazione Detox and Greenpeace Italia issued a call to action, launching the The time is now! project for the creation of men’s collections using sustainable raw materials. The fashion business is one of the world’s most polluting industries and is characterised by business models that consume far more resources that the planet can afford. As well as taking action to improve the current situation, the IED network also wants to teach the next generation not to repeat the mistakes of the past, providing them with the tools to become protagonists of the change.

The Time is Now! is precisely this, a transformation project which today presents its final results: 5 eco-friendly capsule collections and 5 fashion films, the work of 15 IED students chosen from the Fashion Design and Fashion Stylist courses at the Milan, Rome, Florence, Turin and Como sites. The group, under the creative direction of Alessia Crea, IED Alumna and co-founder of the Casamadre brand, received guidance in designing sustainable collections made using fabrics which use natural or recycled fibres or that have supply chains which follow certified production processes.

“Our mission has always been to train the fashion designers of the future with expertise and passion - explains Sara Azzone, IED Milano Fashion School. Now, however, it is imperative to teach them about sustainability so they can take this issue into account in the various processes of their projects. When I met Andrea Cavicchi and learned about the fine work that CID - Detox is doing with the endorsement of Greenpeace Italia I thought they could be the perfect partners for educating our students about sustainable fashion and respect for the environment”.

“We are living at a time of great change,” comments Paola Pattacini, IED Roma Fashion School. “After years of waste, excess and abuse, we are finally seeing a change in mentality, a return to pure creativity, to manual skills and, above all, to sustainability, which enables us to create products that are genuine, ethical and wearable, but most of all refined and sophisticated. The time is now! is a group project involving students from different countries and different IED sites who aim, through their designs, to convey their take on the future of fashion”.

CID was a high-profile partner for the project; in fact, the Consortium participated in the 2006 Detox campaign promoted by Greenpeace to encourage the biggest brands to rid fashion of toxic substances. The The Time is Now! collections were created using fabrics supplied by companies involved in Detox and chosen for their environmentally-friendly processes: Be.Mi.Va, Berto Industrie Tessili, Candiani Denim, Emmetex, Filati Biagioli Modesto, Furpile Idea, Industria Biagioli, Industria Italiana Fialti, Lanificio Mario Bellucci, Marini Industrie, Miroglio Group and Texmoda Tessuti.

“The companies in our consortium made an active contribution to the project, offering both their products and their experience,” explains Andrea Cavicchi, President of the CID The Italian Detox Improvement Consortium. “The commitment our businesses have shown to sustainability projects, beginning with Greenpeace’s Detox principles, is a source of great international recognition for us. During this long partnership with IED we have been able to appreciate the great sensitivity of the young students to the themes of reuse and their particular interest in non-polluting textile processes and water purification systems. Their work has never compromised on inventiveness, aesthetic taste and innovation, demonstrating that sustainability and the circular economy can be elements that enrich the creativity of young designers, especially if they are supported by a qualified staff of teachers”.

“The fashion industry is at a crossroads and must decide which path it wishes to take - comments Chiara Campione, Head of the Corporate and Consumer Unit at Greenpeace Italia. “The environmental impact of the current business model, based on waste and a throw-away culture, is no longer sustainable. These wonderful collections, created by extremely talented designers, show that it is possible to invert this trend through innovation and creativity and to envision a fashion revolution that is able to respect the limited resources of our planet. The men and women that designed these collections remind us that it is possible to abandon the concept of throw-away materialism and convert the entire system to the concept of what others call true materialism, where materials, their transformation processes and environment of origin are regarded as highly precious.”

All photos by Alexandra Korey