"Sustainable Fashion” Footprint in Europe |OrangeBay "Italian Fashion Study Week" Part 3

November 10,2019

Since sustainable fashion is currently one of the hottest trends in the fashion industry, Luxe.Co is closely tracking and reporting this latest global trend that covers multiple segments, such as "recycling,'' "eco-friendly packaging", "eco-friendly new materials", "sustainable fashion brands", "sustainable fashion e-commerce", and "sustainable supply chains". However, "sustainability" is still an abstract and distant concept for most Chinese consumers.

Orange Bay students witnessed the "sustainable" footprint of European luxury brands and start-ups during “Italian Fashion Study Week” this October, when they learned about the innovative use of natural and recycled materials from the exhibition of "Sustainable Thinking" presented by the brand’s founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence. They also examined the company's recent experimental products and art projects made from environmentally-friendly materials using innovative technologies. This gave them a more intuitive and comprehensive understanding of the way the luxury industry practices the concept of sustainability.

In this exhibition, the brand also invited dozens of artists from around the world to participate in its "Sustainable Thinking” program. The Orange Bay team was lucky enough to meet one of the artists at the show, Ms. Paola Anziche (below left), from Turin, Italy. Her work entitled “Pensiero Naturale” is a collection of soft sculptures made from organic cotton, flax thread, wheat stalks, pineapple leaf fiber, banana leaf fiber, jute fiber, wool and other natural materials. These sculptures float freely in the exhibition room like an inverted jungle. The audience can walk through it and can even wrap themselves in it to experience how art draws on nature and creates new possibilities.

In Milan, the Orange Bay team visited the workshop of Italian eco-bag brand, La Milanesa, recommended by the team of White Milano, the famous Italian fashion brand. La Milanesa was founded in 2018 by Cinzia Macchi (center below) and has its headquarters in the 5 Vie Art + Design Art block in Milan's old town. All of La Milanesa's bags are made from recycled materials, such as leftover materials from the production of carpets and clothing, and are entirely handmade with bright and bold colors, imaginative and original designs; yet, they are still practical and affordable. La Milanesa has received an overwhelming number of orders after being showcased at the White Milano fashion trade show this year.

The Kering Group, the parent company of Gucci, YSL, Bottega Venetta and other famous luxury brands, has always been a pioneer of sustainable fashion. As early as 2015, Kering became the first luxury group to release the Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) for measuring and quantifying the environmental impact of its activities. In 2016, Kering launched My EP&L app and EP&L methodology to the public and provided open source tools, and it released the Chinese version of "My EP&L" in China as a WeChat Mini Program in 2017.

The Kering Group cooperated with Plug and Play, an early-stage investor, accelerator and corporate innovation platform in December last year to create the “K Generation Award” for sustainable innovation for start-ups in the Greater China Region. Alicia Yu, founder and CEO of Luxe.Co, as well as the President of Orange Bay University, was invited to become a member of the industry advisory committee of the award. In the past six months, she has participated in the review of the sustainable innovation proposals of more than 50 Chinese start-ups.

Before the Orange Bay Italian Study Week, Alicia Yu made a special visit to the Kering Group’s headquarters in Paris to meet Michael Beautler, the Director of the Sustainability Department of Kering Group (first from the right) and Christine Gouley, Director of the K Generation Award Program of China (first from the left).


Michael Beautler introduced Kering's approach to sustainable development and its latest achievements, while Alicia Yu presented a series of reports on sustainable fashion around the world, and shared the results of a recent sustainable fashion survey conducted by Luxe.Co (see link). It was conceded that the concept of "sustainable fashion" still has a long way to go before it becomes popular, and the key is to gain young consumers’ trust and support via media communication and corporate actions.

About "Italian Fashion Study Week" of Orange Bay University

The first "Italian Fashion Study Week" was organized by Orange Bay University from October 7 to 13, 2019, when students were invited to visit and study in top design schools, luxury brand headquarters and art museums in Milan and Florence, as well as to engage in in-depth discussions with brand managers, designers, artists and curators to better understand Italian luxury brands and the fashion industry supply chain, and fully experience the Italian culture, art, design aesthetics and lifestyle.

Orange Bay University "Italian Fashion Study Week" series report:

Understanding The Nature Behind Italian Design Innovation | "Italian Fashion Study Week" Part 1

Behind The Scenes of The Italian Fashion Industry | "Italian Fashion Study Week" Part 2

About Orange Bay University

Founded in the spring of 2017 by the authoritative fashion business media Luxe.CO, Orange Bay University for the first time combines world-class case teaching with pioneering entrepreneurship education with the help of the powerful lecturers in the industry, and aims to help entrepreneurs, enterprises and investors in the fashion industry grow with the times and practice "lifelong learning"!


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