Bacon Clothing is an Italian outer apparel brand founded by Andrea Pilato Barrara, a longtime expert in the retail street and sportswear segment. His brand is characterized by his strong attraction to the ’90s and urban nomads’ most iconic garment, the down jacket, that he reinterpreted according to contemporary design, edgy oversize silhouettes, hyped performance and–only very recently–a more sustainable and digitally-driven approach. Here, Barrara explains why he started taking this new more responsible path.
Tell us about Bacon Clothing... what's the background of your label?
I founded it in 2011 following my passion for the ’90s and their underground culture. Our core products are down jackets–for f/w 2021 we are offering about 40 different ones–though we have also started including a few accessories like a belt with a pocket bag, a down handbag and a down scarf, and starting from this season we have launched a sustainable capsule collection.
As our manifesto says, Bacon is aimed at strong, independent women, travelers, free spirits of the world and of the city. Among our next projects is our Mini-Bacon project, a reduced size version of the collection to be worn by girls ages 8 to16.
We produce only one collection per year, only fall/winter. Materials and development of the collection are made in Italy, while manufacturing happens in Romania, an elite country for down garment production. Our retail price ranges from €550 to €1,100.
Bacon is currently sold in top multibrand retailers in Italy and in the world, including international department stores and e-commerce luxury platforms as, for instance, Farfetch.
We have been very sensitive to this aspect for a long time and started it in 2020 as there were the conditions for approaching sustainability in a holistic way and, therefore, meeting a key interest for young generations.
We started this project as a capsule within the whole collection, and launched five models and a few accessories.
Within the entire production every single manufacturing step is certified. Every item is made with Seaqual Yarn, a certified fiber made with recycled plastic from the oceans and the land. Feathers are recycled, too, and they can be re-used, as Seaqual Yarn.
We use biodegradable labels and water print techniques without producing any chemical leftovers. Packaging is made with recycled materials only.
Our aim to offer eco-friendly pieces in our whole collection within a few years. One of the obstacles in reaching our goal is to collaborate with our suppliers as we wish we could get better guarantees and reduce costs.
Are there digital tools that help you to progress in taking a more sustainable direction?
We have started using some digital tools that help us to cut emissions, reducing the production of leftovers and costs. For instance, we have started using a digital project that will help us produce less, or stop producing samples in the long term. We started doing it by, for instance, producing samples in one color only and showing all other variants worn by avatars. We will also organize a digital fashion presentation within the February 2021 edition of Milan Fashion Week, our first time on the Milan Women’s Shows calendar.
Thanks to all of these devices we can reduce our carbon dioxide emission and our waste of water, paper and chemical substances.
This year, for instance, by using digital prototypes and organizing our digital presentation, we will be saving about two kilos of CO2, almost 40,000 liters of water and three trees, as we didn’t waste a significant amount of paper. So in the long run, this will make a huge difference. Moreover, digital twins of physical items will allow us to create new special or customized items throughout the season.