Milan has recently become a protagonist for a series of conventions focused on sustainable and eco-friendly fashion. After the “Sustainable Fashion: an Industry R-Evolution" round table we reported on a few days ago, another convention titled “Can Fashion be Truly Sustainable?" took place yesterday.

The forum was organized by AGIIS (Italian-Hispanic Lawyers Association) and the Capecchi Piacentini & Valero Studio. It presented a selection of the some highly authoritative speakers who presented opinions on this crucial topic. According to sociologist Francesco Morace (Future Concept Lab), the market has arrived at a turning point: “The time in which we find ourselves today can be compared to the 1800s, when hygienic production standards became an element that could no longer be avoided. We now face a similar challenge in starting to offer new standards of sustainability.”

There have recently been some initiatives taken in this direction. For instance, Giusy Bettoni founded C.L.A.S.S., an international platform that connects apparel manufacturers and designers with eco-friendly fabric producers. Miroglio's Stefano Cochis has been working on the Newfeel project, offering 100% recycled PET fabrics. Silvio Faragò, a scientific experimenter, developed a series of colored fabrics, the pigments of which were obtained chiefly through the optical effects of light-reflection on a series of layered super-thin materials. Elio Fiorucci, communicator and trendsetter said: "In the past I preferred to use rather plastic than real leather and furs. I thought that plastic was less harmful, though maybe I was wrong. What I think now is that fashion comes down to beauty and aesthetics. In order to guide creativity, the strategy that works better is to look inside and follow our hearts and passions, and to draw from the ethics that are inside each of us."

A special guest was Livia Giuggioli Firth, wife of actor Colin Firth and co-founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, an organization that involves celebrities with wearing special designer creations produced according to sustainable criteria. Among the designers involved in the initiative were Chanel, Tom Ford, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Paul Smith and Ermenegildo Zegna. “The answer to this round table title is: We are doing it now!" she commented. The environmental activist has been known to wear many examples of eco-designs, such as an evening dress made by Giorgio Armani in Newfeel, a Valentino dress and a Paul Smith tuxedo produced according to sustainable standards. She added, “Working on this project, some designers and companies discovered they were already producing according to sustainable standards even though they weren't conscious of it."

Furthermore, a few weeks ago the Italian Coop supermarket chain launched a new eco-friendly line of t-shirts and dresses offered at affordable prices and designed by Katharine Hamnett. Coop Italia's Domenico Brisigotti said, “The year 2012 is already proving to be a memorable one; we are registering record-breaking sales of sustainable and biological products. We started this initiative with Hamnett with the aim of answering the consumer's requests – it is the consumer's consciousness that has changed.”

Elio Fiorucci, Livia Giuggioli Firth and Domenico Brisigotti
Elio Fiorucci, Livia Giuggioli Firth and Domenico Brisigotti