Fashion activism movement Fashion Revolution is preparing for another year of their namesake fair, and Prato-based Lottozero / textile laboratories has answered the call. On Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, the creativity hub and start-up will open its doors in a part-showroom/part-exhibition event that brings together Prato’s main textile stockists, tailors and dressmakers and the public. While the stockists showcase and sell their fabrics, the tailors and dressmakers, coming from both Italy and abroad, will work directly in the space, exhibiting and selling their unique pieces. The public is invited to observe the makers as they work live, ask for professional advice, buy fabrics and commission personalized pieces.
Ph. Rachele Salvioli
In line with Fashion Revolution’s mission of transparency and standing up against inhumane working conditions when it comes to who makes our clothes, the Lottozero event aims to spread awareness not only about the value of labour, the impact of our purchases on society and the environment and understanding “who made my clothes,” but also about Prato’s textile industry in particular, historically one of the leading production centres in Europe, though it has suffered a sharp decline in recent years. The two days will reconnect the public with this production, unique and handmade pieces and the quality of textile production in general.
The event will be held from 10am to 7pm at Lottozero / textile laboratories, in Via Arno 10, Prato and entrance is free.
For the event, we talked to some of the people who work in the fashion world and with Fashion Revolution in particular. We spoke to Marina Savarese, a blogger and author, and Paolo Di Landro, one of the designers who will attend the event.
Photo provided by Marina Savarese
The Florentine: You began your career at quite a young age. What tips do you have for young entrepreneurs?
Marina Savarese: The only tip I know is to do what you love. It seems a cliché, but the only thing that drives us in times of difficulty is doing a job that we love…at least a little! 😉 Frustration brings unhappiness and life is too short to spend it in prisons of our own making. It’s much better to pursue our talents and passions, aware of the fact that every choice we make has consequences on the practical level (as well as psychological). Determination helps, so does talent, but it takes a lot of organization and discipline, not to mention the desire to understand, to always question yourself and to never stop learning. A good accountant also helps 😉
TF: Why eco-sustainability and recycling in fashion?
MS: Eh…because otherwise planet Earth risks exploding! Tragedies aside, the fact that the fashion world as it is right now is the industry that causes the second highest pollution levels in the world behind petroleum is a well-known fact. It’s of the utmost importance that we take action tied to environmental sustainability, like learning how to recycle materials and fabrics and choosing processes with a reduced use of chemical substances, or that are at least carried out in protected, controlled environments. All this by reducing the volume of productions. There really isn’t a need for it and what we’ve done until now has caused too much damage. I believe the moment to adjust our aim really has arrived.
TF: Why do we need a Fashion Revolution?
MS: Because fashion has gone well beyond. There’s a need to reset certain values so they won’t be devoured by the incessant need to over-purchase, a trend that has acutely led to the advent of fast fashion, which, if on the one side it has “democratized” fashion, on the other, it has caused us to completely lose sight of what we buy and wear. It’s vital that we care more about the clothes we buy, favouring things that last and are made in ways that respect the environment and people. And this is possible only by re-educating everyone: consumers so they can be more aware of their choices, producers so they can find less impactful solutions, designers so they can plan in a more cyclical manner. It’s an immensely large task, the results of which probably only grandchildren will see, but its better late than never!
Paolo di Landro
Photo provided by Paolo di Landro
The Florentine: Your work seems to always be about the crossroads between contemporary and fashion, sometimes even the idea of continually exploring ourselves. How do you weave these principles with your designs?
Paolo Di Landro: Contemporary art, Fashion, Man: I’ve always thought that a collection or a job mirrors our state of being and I let myself be guided by what it is I’m experiencing. I want to transform what I experience into something concrete, everything happens naturally. For example, the next collection of unique pieces will have a theme that, after having chosen fabrics and images, reflecting on this concept, I examined by current situation – let’s say I’m a seeker – I’m a researcher of emotions and I would like for the emotions I experience to be conveyed to those who see and buy my work. This mix that you’ve described between art and psyche is only because without these three things, it’s not possible for me to create…
TF: Being a creator of unique pieces, it seems as if you’re the polar opposite of fast fashion. In your opinion, what’s the right middle ground for reaching the ideals of both of these ways of working?
PdL: Unique Piece and Factory aren’t opposites, but are two sides of the same coin. Indeed, with my prototypes, I create many collections and lots of little sparks from which a collection could be created. And so, instead of designing, I realize, as I always have. First I designed by taking photographs, now I do it constructing clothes, tomorrow…who knows… perhaps by building my own line.
Anyway, before creating a collection, I need to do research, and my collections of unique pieces are research from which I begin for building a series of collections. Without one, the other can’t exist.
TF: Why do we need a Fashion Revolution?
PdL: Fashion Revolution Fair is what many companies are already doing or have begun to do.
I’ve also done a lot of things in addition to making clothes: I worked for a long time in one of the most important show rooms, where some brands were distributed and others were made famous. I learned many things there, one of which was that the fashion system as it was until just a short while ago doesn’t work anymore. This was said by the show room’s creative director, whose name I can’t say. He told me that fashion produces so much, too much, and that perhaps it would be better to produce less, but of good quality. This is fashion, but if you’d like to talk about fast fashion, that’s not fashion, that’s clothing, and that’s another subject, one that I’m not involved with. My work is for few and I’m ok with that.
Article updated on April 19, 2018 at 11.30am