The 36th edition of Milano Unica, opened on January 31st at Fiera Milano Rho presenting s/s 2024 season, in a  crowded and lively environment, and welcomed key Italian and international customers of the luxury and apparel markets.

The show hosted 394 exhibitors, 328 Italian and 66 European ones offering both menswear and womenswear textiles along with trimmings and accessories and fiber manufacturers 

The MU Tendenze & Sustainability area conveyed a message of positivity through the MUSuperpower theme in a highly energetic sand colorful environment.

During the show’s inauguration, a series of topics emerged as crucial aspects. Alessandro Barberis Canonico, president, Milano Unica, presented data that confirm that Made-in-Italy textiles have recovered, with record figures exceeding all sales and export results recorded in the four years prior to the pandemic, closing 2022 with total sales of €8.1 billion, up 32.4% on a year-on-year basis.

The President also explained that traceability, understood as transparency, authenticity, reliability and immutability, along with the values of social and environmental ethics and Made-in-Italy excellence are crucial aspects for the future development of the Made in Italy industry.

Alessandro Barberis Canonico, president, Milano Unica
Photo: Vitale Barberis Canonico
Alessandro Barberis Canonico, president, Milano Unica
“Definitely, traceability, enhanced by technical supports and IT, can transfer along the entire supply chain - from raw material to finished product - the concepts related to social and environmental sustainability and, above all, the quality contents related to raw materials and processes along the entire production chain,” he explained while he asked the audience to consider how important traceability and blockchain will be a future game changer for the textile-apparel industry.

Among other participants to the opening of the event there were Carlo Capasa, President of the Italian National Chamber of Fashion; Ercole Botto Poala, President of Confindustria Moda, and Maurizio Forte, Director of the Italian Trade Agency ICE Office of Made in Italy Coordination and Promotion, and Marco Montemagno, histrionic digital anchorman and entrepreneur. 

Montemagno reflected on how social media platforms can affect quality and the elements consumers care about most, and also addressed issues and projections regarding the main trends in the area of traceability, which are expected to become universal in the next two years. 

“What are the future trends of Made in Italy production? There are two about to explode in the upcoming months: Artificial Intelligence and material traceability through the blockchain. AI will also become key in the luxury segment: from idea generation to design; from production processes to product and service customization. The Blockchain technology will ensure a product’s origin, authenticity and quality transparently,” said Marco Montemagno.

Also participating was Gabriele Maggio, CEO, Stella McCartney, who highlighted the importance of traceability as an advantage for brands, addressing the topic from the perspective of consumers and communication.

Sergio Tamborini, president of Sistema Moda Italia, spoke about the need to implement traceability along the entire value chain. He also presented the Trick project, an initiative funded by the European Commission, to combat greenwashing in defense of Made-in-Italy products. 

“The new edition of Milano Unica coincides with a year of great expectations for textile and apparel companies. The challenges - although in a climate of recovery compared to the period of the pandemic - are linked to the issues of soaring energy prices, raw material trends and geopolitical tensions, on one hand, and, on the other, to the need to make the fashion system competitive in Europe, capable of interpreting the new market demands in terms of transparency, traceability and sustainability. These moments are of the essence because of the opportunity to listen to the interpreters of change, namely the manufacturers, who represent the engine of Italian fashion,” commented Tamborini.

“In a few years, the driver of traceability and the Digital Product Passport will become mandatory with the becoming effective of the new European laws meant to drive Europe toward carbon neutrality by 2050. Some European country has already started taking initiatives that will lead in this direction,” added Tamborini.

“In France, for instance, they introduced the mandatory use of a bar code or QR code containing all the information about a product. Such an initiative is fundamental to encourage restoring and avoid greenwashing. We have to guarantee transparency. This is the true aspect we need to promote in. Fashion and not simply storytelling,” he added.



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