Responsible Innovation June 18th, 2021

GILBERTO CALZOLARI WSM

 

Who is Gilberto Calzolari today?

If I look back, I see in the last 4 years spent working at my start up a path made of so much passion and dedication aimed at bringing value to a sector, I want to be proud of, fashion. I am deeply in love with fashion and I have basically dedicated my entire life to it, from when I was a child with my father, a seller and buyer of fabrics, up to over 15 years as an assistant in the most important Made in Italy luxury houses. More and more motivated in my path, in improving myself as a person and as a designer and in experimenting through my collections, I have never been afraid of expressing myself and in following my instinct, my taste, my ethical and aesthetic choices and in believing firmly in the principles of quality and craftsmanship of a country like ours, and in the creativity that distinguishes us all over the world.

What are the aesthetic elements that define your style?

Playing with "aesthetic short circuits" is certainly one of the hallmarks of my brand, as well as, in my opinion, a contemporary figure among others. I like the harmony of dissonant elements, apparently in contrast, where the unusual and unexpected detail throws new light and allows a new way interpreting a garment by overlapping different aesthetics: male and female elements that mix, retro elements or elements belonging to a melancholic romantic time which are completely revisited in a high-tech and futuristic key. I love to create high quality garments designed to last over time and aimed at enhancing the individuality of authentic, conscious and determined women. In all my collections, references to nature cannot be missing, because it is a constant source of inspiration, as well as art, technology, science, starting with biology, to mention some. Even before 2020 put us in front of a real historical catastrophe, I was talking about nature as often manipulated and of hybrid products and artifacts, in the process of changing, as in the FW 19-20 collection entitled “UnNatural”.

How has your idea of ​​sustainability changed today compared to your beginnings?

It has not changed but it is evolving: always firm on fundamental principles where ethics and aesthetics must co-exhisti, and which is enriched step by step with continuous studies and insights ranging from the raw materials used, with particular attention to the choice of fabric - because in the garment production is the element that has the greatest impact on the environment - from recycled yarns to certified organic fibers; to have a controlled and local outsourced production chain, attentive to waste and carbon footprint; the careful choice of partners who share my same ethical goals; to creative reuse such as upcycling, starting with the dress made by recovering jute sacks from Brazil coffee and embroidered with lead-free Swarovski crystals, thanks to which I was awarded the prestigious Franca Sozzani GCC Emerging Designer Award in 2018. Today I am more and more convinced that a true sustainable fashion cannot be implemented if respect and attention to nature are not linked to attention and deep respect for the human race.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your sustainability work?

The biggest challenge is still underway and I think it is the most difficult: true green fashion today is a luxury but it must become a revolution that everyone can reach. If you look at the entire supply chain, the change is already underway and in a few years more and more cutting-edge sustainable fabrics have been made. But there is still a long way to go: buyers and retailers must start investing in the new generations and buying more sustainable fashion because people ask for it, the new generations, responsibly worried about their future and the fate of the planet, are demanding it. Furthermore, I am convinced that in Italy, authentic sustainable fashion can only go along  with a return to the real Made in Italy, a value that unfortunately has been lost and must be recovered. But we need to analyze the causes, such as having chased the rhythms of fast fashion with too many annual collections and having relocated production to countries where the workforce is cheaper to increase profits or to be more competitive. For a real change, everyone must play their part, including a national policy that today unfortunately does not facilitate small businesses and crafts, and which over the years has pushed more and more companies to go abroad to produce clothing. . All this negatively impacted quality and know-how..

How do you see the world of sustainable fashion between now and the next 10 years?

I am convinced that it will no longer be considered a trend but a priority, a shared need and requested not only by the most attentive and aware customers but by the multitude of consumers all over the world. People are starting to stop buying from brands that do not respect ethical standards and that do not use eco-friendly materials. Today already, more and more companies are striving to guarantee greener productions through a responsible sourcing of raw materials and without the exploitation of manpower, without sacrificing style. Of course, the risk of green washing is always there and this requires a higher level of attention from consumers. It must not be a simple trend, but a real commitment. Sustainability, traceability, circularity and collaborative consumption: these are some of the keywords for the future of sustainable fashion. It means rethinking the materials, their origin, their lasting skills, their disposal and, especially in the case of synthetic materials, the possibility of breaking them down and reusing them to avoid waste. A circular vision creates positive impacts for the entire community.

 

 

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