Italian denim manufacturer Candiani Denim has opened Candiani Vision, its second Milanese store, an about 100-sq.-meter shop based in the lively and young-minded area of Corso di Porta Ticinese at n.22. The aim of the project is to promote its Coreva compostable stretch denim, increase this product’s visibility and promote its circular economy message among the younger generations.
Although Candiani has already collaborated with various brands using its compostable stretch denim made with 100% natural rubber including Denham, Stella McCartney, Dondup, Closed, Hiut and Kings Of Indigo, it has launched a special Coreva capsule collection and collaborated with two market insiders for the occasion.
It involved denim consultant Chicco Barina, who designed and took care of the Coreva premium denim capsule collection offering Made in Italy five-pockets and shirts in three colors–indigo, black and white–sold through this store.
It also collaborated with Matteo Ward, co-founder of Wråd, a design studio dedicated to sustainable innovation, to solicit the attention of younger consumers and communicate with them in a simple and easy-to-understand way about how Coreva jeans are composted. At the entrance of the store Ward created a sense of surprise by using mint plants that arouse the curiosity of passersbys, encouraging them to enter and discover what these plants have to do with jeans. Once they have entered, the consumers can see how a part of Coreva jeans can be recycled and what remains can be composted in soil and become a fertilizer for plants–in this case, mint ones. Moreover, at the end of the store, an interactive wall shows in an entertaining and instructive way how Candiani and Coreva work so that their denim has less of an environmental impact.
Alberto Candiani, president of Candiani Denim, described this new space’s objectives.
Why did you open this second Candiani store?
This store has a different aim and concept than our first one. Candiani Vision is the hub where Candiani presents its innovations. But rather than being aimed at insiders as our first one, it’s a B2C location, where “C” doesn’t simply stay for “consumers” but for a broader category like “citizens.”
In particular this location is visited by younger people and tourists as there are more people passing from here–and the young are more sensitive to topics like sustainability applied to fashion and design.
Now we are presenting Coreva, our diamond-head innovation, which is a brand, a registered technology, and it deserves to be presented and talked about. For doing this we chose Matteo Ward with his installation and his own language which surely fits better speaking to the young rather than my technical B2B speaking. In the installation he created for the store he was able to condense all the necessary information and also made them fun.
The installation presents some new materials that are renewable and compostable that can also become regenerative under the form of biofertilizers. We can speak about complete, tangible and scientifically demonstrated circularity, and the idea to biofertilize mint plants with composted jeans is something fresh that can be used with tea, water …or a mojito. This also means that you are drinking your jeans. Then translating this into an industrial practice tied to regenerative agriculture, these substances can be ideally used for biofertilizing cotton.
As part of this model, could the various jeans brand using Coreva be recollected and sent to be used as fertilizers?
We are now launching Coreva. It is a capsule and is not meant to become a brand. Though in the future, all the brands that will use Coreva could be included in this return model.
Though I also want to make clear that Candiani is not producing this denim as we want everyone to throw their jeans into the compost bin. We all know that the first principle of sustainability is to make them last as much as possible. And Coreva has all of these performances. In fact, it doesn’t degrade itself while you are rewearing them, when you wash them or wear them in the rain [Editor’s note: Coreva jeans have to be kept in specific conditions for at least 4-6 months before they degrade]. What we want to reach is that at the end of their lifecycle, after that jeans have been repaired and have aged (which is part of their beauty), can be returned to us, can be recycled in new fibers as much as possible be reused, but in part those fibers cannot be recovered. That waste will be put apart and used as a fertilizer in agriculture. This way you never throw away anything and get a product that can even have a positive impact on the environment.
Prices go from €160 to €250 at retail. We are in the premium segment where that premium price we are willing to pay is the R&D behind it, and we are trying to establish a different engagement with those who buy it. These are not simply a pair of jeans, but a whole world.
Is Candiani Vision a temporary store?
We have rented the space, but it’s not a temporary store. If we want to launch a new project we will launch it from this hub. It is literally an incubator for our R&D, and it is aimed at reaching a wider group of consumers.
What about the store in Piazza Mentana 3? You have recently opened a new area connected to it. What do you do there?
We are testing it now, but we are almost there. For instance, the items you buy here at Candiani Vision can be customized or simply repaired in the Piazza Mentana store–which is five minutes from here–as we have installed a complete Microfactory where we do all the production, treatment and washing of made-to-order and customization of the garments we sell.
Would you open anything similar in some other city in the future?
Not immediately, but surely these kinds of promotion projects of the Candiani brand will happen internationally too. There’s no hurry, but for sure we will do it in the future.