Venice Fashion Week: “UK-Italy: Lessons in Sustainable Fashion”

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Last October 23, the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel in Venice hosted “UK-Italy: Lessons in Sustainable Fashion”, the second part of the conference dedicated to sustainable fashion.

Organized by the Italian branch of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade (DIT), which supports exports and promotes investments and imports, this day fully centered on sustainability was included in the official schedule of the Venice Fashion Week, an event focusing on sustainability, quality craftsmanship, and young Italian and international designers, all key players of the fundamental slow approach to the world of fashion.

Art’s most important palaces and venues were the framework to six days of events organized to shed light on the importance of protecting the environment around us.

Venice Fashion Week

After a first conference held in Florence last January during the Pitti Uomo show, the second part was perfectly integrated with the program, as it explored the key theme of educating the next generation of designers as well as the consumers of today, but mostly of tomorrow.

I’m glad that the United Kingdom and Italy have reached a partnership agreement for the presidency of the Cop26, the United Nations’ global conference on climate scheduled for the end of 2020. Our intent is to build on the already established collaboration between the British and Italian fashion industries to guarantee the respect of the environment

 declared the British Ambassador in Italy Jill Morris upon greeting attendants and opening the conference.

Marina Spadafora, the Italian pioneer of the Fashion Revolution movement, moderated the dialogue on an educational approach to sustainability between Jose’ Teunissen, Director of the School of Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion UAL, and Elda Danese, professor of Fabric Technology and Fashion Design at the Iuav University of Venice.

Theory aside, it was interesting to see how this knowledge and these approaches can be practically applied: in fact, Tiziano Guardini, winner of the Best Emerging Designer title at the 2017 Green Carpet Fashion Awards and renowned Italian designer, and Patrick McDowell, an incredibly young British creative who graduated from Central Saint Martin’s and is strongly committed to sustainability, were the ones chosen to tell the universe of sustainability as designers of the new generation see it.

In line with the government’s commitment to a clean growth, British institutions, companies and designers have been developing campaigns and initiatives to reduce their environmental impact at all stages of the fashion production and supply chain

says Marina Iremonger, Head of Fashion at the Department for International Trade Italia and promoter of a responsible and ethical fashion since 2011 with the “The Green Closet” collective project at the Milan Fashion Week.

Back then, visiting the Estethica section of the London Fashion Exhibition had deeply inspired and encouraged me to create something similar in Italy. At the latest edition in September, the London’s show was entirely dedicated to Positive Fashion, explored under three keys – sustainability, craftsmanship and diversity. When I found out that the same main sections were shared by the Venice Fashion Week, I decided to join it with our conference

A special recognition goes to the important initiative that will come to life through the collaboration between the DIT and the Moda-CNA Veneto Table of Fashion in 2020. Two creatives have been selected by some of the oldest, most important companies in Venice to create exclusive clothes and accessories that combine contemporary design and quality craftsmanship: a clear, tangible example of the slow approach to fashion that has now become essential.

Tiziano Guardini will create a capsule collection with fabrics by Antica Tessitura Bevilacqua, while Patrick McDowell, in collaboration with Orsoni Venezia 1888, will introduce a line of accessories featuring mosaic tiles made in their ancient kiln.

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