Decathlon, the French retail sports group, is celebrating its 30th anniversary of presence in Italy while betting on stronger commitment for sustainability.
As part of its aims, the sports group has just launched an Open Call for Textile Sustainability in collaboration with Radici Group, the Italian chemical specialist and fiber manufacturer, and with Cluster Nazionale Made in Italy (Cluster MinIT), one of the clusters recognized by the Ministry of Universities and Research, involving companies, universities, start-ups, incubators and other active actors in the field of innovation.
The central theme of the initiative is “Innovation for Sustainability” and aims to encourage the creation of solutions, know-how, technologies, processes and ideas that are able to enhance and increase the path of the two corporations already active towards the ecological transition.
Main focus of the project is to involve young talents to develop new solutions in terms of circular economy, materials, traceability, ecodesign, digital and new business models for sustainability for a call that was presented on May 3rd and will end on 28th July, 2023.
The project will evolve through a series of following steps that will see a preselection of the candidates taking place in September. In October, they will announce a short list of the projects that will be presented for a final choice of champions, whose projects, according to the quality and kind of initiatives they will carry over, will be presented for a hypothetical proof of concept at Decathlon or Radici Group.
“This joint presence will allow the realities answering our Open Innovation Call a wider and more complete collaboration of the textile and polymeric materials supply chain, something that we consider particularly significant of this experience,” he added.
"We believe that achieving sustainability in the textile world is possible, starting upstream of the supply chain by selecting the right materials and developing eco-designs with the other partners of the textile industry allowing the creation of products that can be recycled at the end of their life cycle,” said Marco De Silvestri, head of sales & marketing of the Business Area Advanced Textile Solutions of Radici Group.
“We share with Decathlon the belief that, only through a continuous and synergetic collaboration between the various actors, circularity projects can be realized without neglecting high design and performance,” he added.
"For us, it's very stimulating to experience a new and unconventional approach to innovation for sustainability, a theme that covers a central place in the Decathlon Group vision and strategy,” commented Pierpaolo Rotondi, R&D manager for Decathlon Produzione Italia.
Other technical and scientific partners involved in the Cluster Made in Italy Open Innovation Call for Textile Sustainability include key players in the field of research and innovation with Italian territory realities, such as universities–in particular ENEA, Politecnico di Milano–, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Università deli studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Università IUAV di along with Fashion technology accelerator Startupbootcamp Fashion Tech, and trade associations such as Sistema Moda Italia (SMI) and Centro Tessile Cotoniero e Abbigliamento (Centrocot).