By Elena Picci

This is how Made in Italy can fit into sustainability

Most fashion designer and brands are from Italy. However, Did this label remain prestigious after all these years? What does it mean nowadays the famous ‘Made in Italy’’? Is it the same than our sustainable value ‘’locally made’’?

Amore, what do you feel when you touch a leather bag with the label ‘’Made in Italy’’? For most of us, it will be a mixed feeling of admiration and exaltation. This is because it is automatically linked to a historic savoir-faire.

Eticlò

First things first! What does ”made in Italy” mean?

Italy! The dolce vita land of beauty, art and love!

We have all heard about it. But what does ‘’made in Italy’’ actually mean?

The Made in Italy trademark represents the Italian expression of art through craftsmanship.

It is the fruit of a long relationship between art, manufacturing and progress.

Italy’s excellence in craftmanship is recognized throughout the world today thanks to many years of guaranteed quality.  The label has become synonymous with excellence and leadership in many sectors such as design, architecture and fashion.

Fashion has emerged as a key sector of Italy. Home town of Famous luxurious brands but especially sustainable ones such as Eticlò! Ti amo, ti amo, ti amo, ti amo! Their high quality of craftsmanship contributes to building Italian image across the globe!

Eticlò

Is ‘’Made in Italy’’ synonym of Locally made?

One of the key sustainable values in Fashion is to buy locally in order to avoid emissions of CO2 due to transport and to make sure there are no garment workers that could be in some sort of modern slavery in countries at risk.

To be honest, the made in Italy trademark started to be used in the ’90s exactly at the same time that its production started to be outsourced in China (Standford anthropology professor Sylvia Yanagisako). Volare, oh, oh! From China oh, oh, oh, oh. As a result, there have been decades of debates about what is real and what is fake. It is not a random coincidence that there are many Chinese garment workers in Florence, the majority of whom are textile manufacturers. The Know-how of the industry has been shared over the years. If you have the chance to go to in the city of Prato in Tuscany, don’t be surprised to see street signs all written in Mandarin.

Based on the law article called ‘’ Legge finanziaria’’ of 2004. A Made in Italy product could be:

#Completely made in Italy

#Partially made in Italy and Abroad if the final processing step took place in Italy

This does not cancel the fact that Italian craftsmanship still exists. It simply makes the game of a brand’s transparency a little bit more interesting. Researches need to be done and the famous trademark sadly cannot be taken for granted. When you see that label, you might want to ask yourself Parole, Parole, Parole?

Audrey Hepburn in the movie Roman Holiday (1953)

How can you ensure “made in Italy” is sustainable?

Made in Italy represents the art of craftsmanship and high quality.  Chances are, a piece of clothing ‘’ made in Italy’’ is sustainable if the companies has produced them following the below:

#Small-scale Production

Rule number one! Fewer choices of items mean a higher chance that these pieces have been made in an artisanal way. This promotes craftmanship and creativity.

#Local Materials

Even before the ‘’Made in Italy’’ boom of the 90’s Italy did always rely on silk from China. Go for sustainable textiles that have a higher chance of being grown in Italy such as organic cotton or linen. Have a look at Italian sustainable clothes from Eticlò which are made of organic Cotton!

Eticlò: Oversized shirt
Catalina Chemisier Dress with mother of Pearl buttons

#100% Made in Italy

Since 2009, thanks to Law no.166 of 20 November, an item that claims itself ‘’100% Made in Italy’’ or ‘’All Italian’’ must have its products made entirely in Italy. From the design to the packaging.

#Socially Responsible Businesses

When we think about made in Italy, our minds jump to a romanticized vision of artisans quietly working in small factories, however the situation is far more complex than that.

In order to claim their products are ‘’made in Italy’’ some companies bring in foreigners to pay them less than locals (The New Yorkers).

The fashion industry in the region of Tuscany has been highly criticized for taking advantage of foreign labour. There are many scandals where migrant workers from China, Syria, and Pakistan have been found working extreme hours and sleeping at the work place in terrible conditions (Firenze Today). This kind of modern slavery is not sustainable or legal!

By going for GOTS certified organic Cotton you make sure workers are ethically treated.

Find here some organic products to spread Amore around you

Sustainability Alerts

All You Need To Know