Upcycled Fashion In Italy by BehaveUrbanAtelier
A little update about the use of recycled materials in fashion in Italy.
by Guest Blogger, Susanna of behaveurbanatelier.
Maybe not everyone knows that Salvatore Ferragamo, aka “the shoemaker of dreams”, was one of the first designers to use recycled materials for his creations...he noted that candy wrappers were a strong material and braided them to create the upper part of his shoes in the 1940s. Due to the big economic crisis during the second world war, expensive materials were not available or affordable. I’ve searched the web for a picture of those shoes but did not find anything! One pair is visible in Ferragamo Museum inside his palace in Firenze (I bring my students there for a visit often and always stress the recycling concept inside that creation!)
And what about today? Italians always prefer quite classic styles and it is hard to market unusual looking products here, in my opinion, if not connected with luxury and properly marketed with expensive campaigns. Here are some examples of high market brands that are surprisingly producing recycled materials collections:
Moma Boma creates bags using vintage newspaper, magazines , measure tapes, and (my favourite) pages from kids school scrapbooks, with maths or other subjects assignments and exercises on.
Architect and fashion designer (like me!) Vincenzo De cotiis creates luxury collections using findings from vintage markets as pieces of lace, embroidery, furs.
Carmina Campus is a brand (designed by a previous Fendi designer) that creates really expensive bags all made out of pieces of different things as shower tubes, tapestry, bottle caps, crochets, all put together.
In the international school where I work as a fashion professor (Lorenzo de’ Medici International) the Fashion Department has organized this year's final fashion show using only second hand garments, to make both the public and students aware of the value of recycled fabrics…the final outfits were so cutting edge!
Recently a primary school did the same thing using plastic bags and , during a fair focused on clean energies in agriculture.
The students of Firenze College of Arts organized a fashion show featuring evening dresses made out of plastic bottles, playing cards, rubber gloves, etc.
In our local Fair Trade Shops (Altromercato) a new collection of dresses made out of recycled Indian saris (the traditional Indian dress) is available.
And then there is me with my little studio-shop in Florence center, supporting and promoting recycling everyday, explaining to people here how is it possible to have new garments from old garments and really feeling it as a mission!
Visit Susanna's shop for more unique upcycled Italian fashion: www.behaveurbanatelier.etsy.com