Pitti Immagine unveiled a schedule of side initiatives developed in partnership with online publication Highsnobiety.
Aimed at enriching the fairs’ digital showcases, the range of digital events organized under The Billboard moniker will involve figures from the fashion, art and cultural worlds, said Lapo Cianchi, director of communications and events at Pitti Immagine.
They include Fashion Souvenirs by Olivier Saillard, a digital library gathering the most iconic men’s looks across the history of fashion; “Useless” by Francesco Bonami, a collection of quotes from Pitti’s guest designers from seasons past reflecting on the most useless objects they have ever designed; a showcase of six emerging African fashion designers as part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, and Pitti Meets, a range of talks with leading entrepreneurs, designers, buyers and influencers breaking down the fashion business.
Welcome to your new favourite podcast: ‘Ethical Fashion’ with hosts Simone Cipriani and Clare Press! Featuring a diverse group of thought leaders, experts within the fashion industry and EFI collaborators, the series travels the world exploring major topics of sustainability. From the future of fashion weeks to luxury fashion from Afghanistan to Mali, the podcast will open your mind to the possibilities of Ethical Fashion.
Experts say the first step international brands can take to change their ways is ending price bidding, in which brands reward vendors with the lowest prices thereby devaluting artisanal skill in the global market. Instead, Cipriani of the Ethical Fashion Initiative suggests what he calls “open costing”. That involves brands determining their costs around a living wage and decent labour environment before agreeing on margins with suppliers.
I started working with NGOs from the very start of the brand. Initially, it was just commissioning small samples in rural parts of South Africa. Then I started to work closely with the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative. They invited me to Milan to present my collection during Fashion Week and our relationship developed from there. I was introduced to various workshops – and the rest is history.
Functional, exquisitely made handbags are a specialty of Byron and Dexter Peart, the Montreal-based twins who co-founded the accessories-focused fashion brand Want Les Essentiels in 2007 (they sold their shares in 2017). Last year, inspired by a trip they took to West Africa as part of the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which connects artisans in developing regions to international fashion brands, the brothers launched Goodee, an online marketplace for ethically made clothing and home goods. And this week, they present the company’s first handbag, the Bassi Market Tote, which embodies their commitment to both timeless design and socially conscious practices. The simple rectangular style is made using cotton fabric hand-woven by artisans working in social cooperatives in the Ouagadougou region of Burkina Faso and is available in four striped color combinations ranging from black and white to a vivid pink and orange. Plus, the bags are produced in Northern Italy by the ethical fashion company Cartiera, which offers gainful employment and training to immigrants and asylum seekers. “We wanted to make the greatest impact through a product that really serves anyone who sees something special in its beauty, design and purpose,” Byron told me. $199, goodeeworld.com.
“It all started with the fabrics.”
When Goodee’s founders Byron and Dexter Peart saw the striking Burkinabe and Malian cotton fabrics during their visit to Ethical Fashion Initiative’s weaving cooperative in Burkina Faso, they knew instantly that they had to bring the inspiring story behind these vibrant textiles to life. And so, the idea of the Bassi Market Tote was born — a practical, reusable everyday tote made from responsibly handcrafted material that everybody could use everywhere.
I think the real problem is an agency problem: must CEOs and boards maximise shareholders’ wealth at any cost or should they try including stakeholders’ wealth in the equation? Stakeholders are suppliers, workers in supply chains and inside the company’s direct outreach, communities where production takes place and the environment, consumers. It is the paradigm of conscious capitalism vs that of traditional capitalism. The CEO of Black Rock who spoke about ESG (Environment, Society, Governance) was addressing exactly this point. It is time for the industry to address this problem in terms of revision of its business model.
Simone Cipriani, head and founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative at the United Nations’ International Trade Centre, adds: “Cancelled orders in a country like Bangladesh have a huge social impact – much larger than we can imagine in the setting of Europe or the US.
“The impact of coronavirus on businesses in western countries has been bad, but there are at least public mechanisms to mitigate the effects on society. In Bangladesh, the lack of a living wage means workers don’t have the income necessary to deal with any kind of emergency, not only because of current cancellations but because of employment conditions pre-crisis. Workers have not accumulated any kind of financial buffer.”
LONDON — Canceled orders due to the coronavirus could have devastating implications for every link in the supply chain, according to Simone Cipriani, chief executive officer and founder of the U.N.’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, which helps marginalized artisan communities connect with international lifestyle brands.
He said it’s up to the industry to mitigate the impact of quarantines, dark shops and a decrease in consumption on developing nations in particular.
“While brands and retailers in the Western world scramble to cope with the business implications of the pandemic and impending recession, the social and human fabric of whole communities in less fortunate settings is set to be literally wiped out. Order cancellations could see supply chains grinding to a halt in developing countries,” said Cipriani.