MAGAZINE January 14th, 2021


"We had to teach ourselves what sustainability in fashion meant", Matteo Ward tells the genesis of WRÅD, an innovative start-up and Focus Design Studio that aims at sustainable innovation within the fashion system.

When was WRÅD born and what is its philosophy?

"The project was born in 2015, when the three co-founders, Matteo Ward, Victor Santiago and Silvia Giovanardi, left their careers in the fashion sector and decided to devote themselves primarily to education, to solve a fundamental problem of information asymmetry. “We had to teach ourselves what fashion sustainability meant. What we learned we then communicated via Instagram to a growing audience of people eager, like us, for truth - thus our community was born ". Today WRÅD is an innovative start-up and Focus Design Studio dedicated to sustainable innovation and social change, a mission that it pursues by working and investing synergistically in Education, Innovation and Design."

Fashion is a very powerful communication tool, can it be used to improve the world?

"Absolutely yes, but we must work with a systemic approach and vision, thinking in watertight compartments in the field of sustainable development is risky and potentially counterproductive. We must keep in mind that everything we produce in the textile field (even if made with natural raw materials considered responsible) still exploits the natural resources necessary to ensure the survival of humanity on the planet. We cannot continue to steal water, land, energy and clean air from society to produce millions of tons of clothes that no one really needs. We therefore work on three fronts: education, innovation and design. Each business unit is synergistic with the others and we work to inspire the public to want to follow more responsible consumption models and at the same time to put innovative, smart and responsible projects and processes on the market, in response to the renewed needs of humanity. The product must be re-aligned with the real needs of people, health in the first place - and the system must move from a state of linear individualism, which is destroying the environment and people, to a new form of circular collaboration."

Why does fashion need to be responsible today? And can it really be sustainable?

"Because the clothing sector continues to produce non-essential goods by exploiting and disfiguring limited resources that must be destined for sectors on which the survival of humanity on the planet depends. This is why sustainable fashion does not exist - there is more or less responsible fashion from an environmental and social point of view, but no one today creates truly sustainable fashion. We are all working to innovate, improve and revolutionize a particularly harmful status quo."

What does Wrad present for White's WSM project?

"We present the innovative capsule developed together with FIAT to celebrate the launch of the New 500. The result of a collaboration that has triggered unique synergies, the manifesto of a new design culture that must become ever more inclusive, circular and collaborative. A culture of which the new WRÅD x 500e capsule is an expression. We have focused primarily on innovation and technology: the gray tone of each garment is obtained with g_pwdr technology, a dyeing process (patented by Alisea Recycled and Reused Objects Design) that recycles otherwise discarded graphite. The graphite powder used to dye the garments gray, a by-product of the production of electrodes also by FIAT, is recovered by the Turin-based company TECNO EDM. Far beyond the product, the project therefore returns value to a precious mineral otherwise discarded, recovering up to 40g of graphite for each garment. Each piece of the capsule for the New 500 is also equipped with a smart label with NFC tag to allow customers to access, at any time, via their smartphone, verified information on its origin and production process."

What materials are used and where does the production of the garments take place?

"The capsule is made using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Production takes place in Portugal (Tetriberica spa.). The recovery of graphite for dyeing takes place in Turin, while the dyeing and finishing take place between Vicenza and Venice"


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