We are used to buying too much and waste as much, more than ever before. This happens not only in food, but also in clothing and furniture.
Slow Food Italia, an Italian association founded with the aim of promoting good quality food as opposed to the culture of fast-food, has inspired some Italian appreciated textile companies to found Slow Fiber, an association meant to match similar criteria in fashion and textiles.
The new movement is born with the aim to follow the same path and values of Slow Food association in the area of clothing and furnishings, and thus of relationship with the body and with beauty, also according to terms such as ethical, fair and measured.
According to the European Commission report “Textiles and the environment in a circular economy: the role of design in Europe's circular economy,” the production and consumption of textiles continues to increase, as does their impact on climate, water and energy consumption and the environment.
World production of these products nearly doubled between 2000 and 2015, and their consumption is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from the current 62 million tons to 102 million tons.
In the European Union, textile consumption currently represents on average the fourth-largest negative impact on the environment and climate change and the third-largest impact on water and land use from the global life cycle perspective.
About 5.8 million tons of textiles are thrown away every year in the EU, each European buys twenty-six kilograms of clothes per year and throws away eleven kilograms after wearing them just seven to eight times while only 13% of them are reused or recycled.
Slow Fiber wants to spread knowledge about the impact that textile products have on the environment, on workers in the supply chain, and on the health of consumers while informing that a new ethics and culture of dressing and furnishing can become an alternative and more virtuous direction.
With this in mind, Slow Fiber wants to expand the network, involving and inviting Italian and international companies to join the network to broaden the scope of the impact of this change by making it choral, strong and immediate.
"In recent decades, the fast fashion model has imposed a coincidence between new and beautiful. Garments that are produced in large quantities and low quality and create waste. Instead, the idea is to recover a concept of beauty that also has ethical values," said Dario Casalini, founder of Slow Fiber.
The network's founding companies have self-regulated themselves through The Slow Fiber Manifesto and have defined specific requirements, qualitative as well as quantitative KPIs built on global indicators of ethicality, sustainability and social responsibility (ESG, SDGs and GRI) according to their own Slow Fiber brand.
Through this self-assessment, the association aims to align all companies in the network to follow or strengthen their own sustainability paths and to support new members eager to follow clear, transparent and measurable paths.
Italian textile companies already adhering to these requirements are: Oscalito, L'Opificio Serico, Quagliotti, Remmert, Pettinatura Di Verrone, Tintoria 2000, Angelo Vasino Spa, Olcese Ferrari, Tintoria Felli, Manifattura Tessile Di Nole, Holding Moda, Lane Cardate, Italfil, Pattern, Maglificio Maggia and Vitale Barberis Canonico.
These are intergenerational companies that boast a long history in the garment and furniture manufacturing sector, which today employ more than 1,000 people and achieve an overall turnover of more than €500 million.