How is the market for denim chemicals changing? We wanted to know from Italian chemical specialist Officina+39 and talked to the company CEOs–father and son duo–Roberto and Andrea Venier.
What are the newest projects you are focusing on?
We’re working on Oz-One Powder. It is our latest and most advanced product for garment treatment meant to create bleached, distressed, worn-out or acid wash effect on garments, though in a more eco-friendly way. So far, the technologies used to obtain this type of effect used substances such as chlorine and potassium permanganate that are harmful to the environment.
Until now, an alternative solution for this type of effect have been ozone machines, but they generally require special machines and generators, therefore ozone treatments require a major investment for laundries.
Oz-One, instead, works with any conventional machine and without any water. The Oz-One particles are released into the tumbler creating vintage and bleached effects that one would normally get by using chlorine or potassium permanganate.
As Covid-19 is having and will have a severe impact on our sector, we’re expecting laundries will have less capacity in the coming months and years for new investments.
We hope that, even in a difficult time due to the global pandemic, a new technology like ours will gives laundries an extra option to offer brands a better and more sustainable technology, using the machines at their disposal.
How are you facing the present moment?
We are all aware that fashion must change and Covid-19 has accelerated this process. Coronavirus represents the biggest crisis but also the biggest worldwide challenge that we have been facing after the Second World War, so we hope new technologies like ours can help our industry to follow the path to sustainability.
Maybe fashion and brands will opt for offering two big collections a year, but already divided into smaller monthly deliveries. This means that also our job will become more complex. For this reason we are aware that in the near future our day-to-day commitment and challenge should be to try to offer constant innovation in the market in a faster way.
How important are physical trade shows? Are you visiting them or participating them or do you prefer to vist them remotely?
In these strange times, we are all discovering new digital creativity, new goals and new ways to communicate to customers and consumers. So, the virtual shows we participated helped.
However, we still believe physical exhibitions will remain important in our sector as fashion must create emotion and such gatherings can help experiencing multisensory emotions.
Generally, in recent years the product was no longer at the center of the interest of brands and companies, but what was mostly hyped was the consumer’s experience and digitalization played a key role in it. We think that this over-digitalization will not help brands and companies to achieve a more sustainable, long lasting approach and the product must gain importance again.
How is our market changing?
Fashion is still currently deeply rooted in a linear approach–make, use, dispose. For the first time we think we have a concrete option to change the paradigm in our sector.
From one side consumers can influence brands; from another side companies, governments and related organization must do huge effort to create the system and structures to encourage better sustainable practices in fashion. But we’re positive as some signs are visible.
Recently we worked with Lenzing and Meidea in a project called “Act together” where we worked together developing The Circle Book (also read here) we created during the lockdown. The Circle Book is a digital book aimed at fashion designers and brands teaching new ways for designing sustainable fashion: using digital technologies and developing only the necessary pieces in the R&D stage. We believe the future will be less fashion shows, less luxury and waste, and more attention to sustainability and creativity.