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What does Made in Europe have to do with sustainable fashion?
We had the opportunity to have a chat about sustainable fashion made in Europe with Giusy Bettoni, the CEO and founder of C.L.A.S.S., a unique multiplatform specialized in integrating a new generation of smart values into fashion, product and businesses.
As Giusy pointed out from the beginning of our interview, if compared to other continents, the label “Made in Europe” on a piece of clothing guarantees that certain standards for its production have been met.
Giusy has almost 30 years of experience in this industry and as other experts say “she is a walking dictionary of sustainability and fashion”.
“Europe has made a very special commitment towards sustainability, animal welfare, water preservation and ethical labor, which had been reinforced during the years by different regulations aimed at ecological responsibility and human safety” starts Giusy.
Europe’s hard work towards a more sustainable economy
In fact, among other countries, Italy, Spain, Germany, France have been pushing towards a change both on a governmental and on an institutional level. Since five years, Europe has been thriving on sustainability matters, improving its policies and making sustainability the goal for its strategies. For instance, new legislation applied from 2022 regulate textile recycling — something which, since this moment, has been in the hands of privates only.
This will determine the creation of specialized hubs all around Europe aimed at receiving textile waste and finding new ways to reuse it. With this decision, Europe will be forcing brands to revise their business strategy and manage the leftovers from their garments production, which otherwise will be wasted.
Is ‘Made in Europe’ clothes completely made in Europe?
Nonetheless, labelling an item as “Made in Europe” might have very different meanings, as the whole chain of value involves a lot of actors and phases, and in general every country has its own specific regional laws.
From raw materials to the dying and spinning of the yarns, from the creation of the fabric to finished garments, (all of which includes usually different suppliers): most of the times, as Giusy points out, it is very difficult to keep track of all these complex stages. That’s why she greatly values transparency, which should be considered a key step in trusting a sustainable brand.
As people who buy these clothes, we need to keep asking those questions that can show us how sustainable certain brands actually are, as sometimes they lack straightforwardness and give some information for granted.
Rebuilding ourselves towards a sustainable future
Nonetheless, the climate change urgency led to some great market adaptation and economic reinventions. Europe, in particular, is given the opportunity to rethink itself and play a key role in this new, exciting market, by pursuing more sustainable policies and showing off its worldwide celebrated creativity, innovative designs and techniques.
Sometimes, as Giusy admits, investors from outside of Europe are not even aware of the existence of its textile system — yet, when they come to know about it, they are pleasantly surprised, as Europe has a certain reputation for the great aesthetic and textile quality of its products.
Celebrating the future oriented European youth
However, particularly exciting to Giusy is to see what future generations are up to. They are indeed not only very aware of certain issues about the fashion industry, but she feels they also have the willingness and skills to make things change for the better.
In this sense, Europe is rich of designers, artists and creative minds in general to redefine its legislation for a more sustainable future.
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