Milan Fashion Week Womens, held from February 23 to March 1, took place mostly as a digital happening because of the pandemic emergency. Despite such measures, designers and brands expressed great creativity for f/w 2021-22 and many of them showed a renewed attention for the environmental issue. The SPIN OFF has picked some of the most interesting examples.

Welcome to Ferragamo’s Future Positive planet
Salvatore Ferragamo’s latest collection invites landing on a “Future Positive” planet, an apparent ultramodern sci-fi world imagined by its creative director Paul Andrew that features the brand’s craftsmanship and a vast series of responsibly made materials. Among them are leather tanned without chrome or other metals, wool and cashmere derived from pre- and post-consumer recycled fibers; shoes with a wooden sole from certified and responsibly managed forests and metal-free vegetable tanned leather through a certified production process with low environmental impact. Sewing threads used for a part of the footwear and leather goods are made with certified PET and are 100% recycled from post-consumer materials, and accessories are made with pre-consumer recycled materials avoiding the use of virgin materials.

Salvatore Ferragamo
Photo: Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo

Herno loves the globe
Herno Globe Collection, the Italian brand’s most sustainable product selection, presented seven different concepts all focused on low-impact materials. Among them is Fast5Degradable, a nylon created from the 6.6 Amni Soul Eco polyamide in 50 Denier variant, a Herno exclusive since 2020. This fiber’s anaerobic complete degradation process happens in just five years, which is very different from the 50 required by common nylon. This material is used for a hooded bomber, a vest and an A-shaped jacket all padded with down and entirely biodegradable, accessories included.

Other models such as a maxi coat and a cocoon bomber added with Animal Friendly Wool inserts are offered in Regenerated Nylon–Econyl, a recycled sustainable 40 Denier nylon fabric obtained from recycled pre- and post-consumer nylon from unused fishing nets collected from worldwide seas and from carpets destined for the rubbish dump. The selection also includes down jackets made with Recycled Nylon Satin, a 100% recycled nylon from textile production waste and disused carpets.

On offer there are coats made from Dye-Free Wool, 100% undyed biological merino wool produced according to Made in Italy savoir faire; Organic Boiled Wool, biologic certified GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) wool; capes, coats and cabans in Animal Friendly Wool, from animal friendly and Mulesing-Free certified breedings.
Herno Globe
Photo: Herno
Herno Globe

Gilberto Calzolari’s total commitment
Gilberto Calzolari, the Italian prêt-à-porter brand named after its designer and founder, believes that beauty and elegance must go hand in hand with respect for our planet. Clean lines and silhouettes, unexpected mixes between neutral hues and vibrant ones express this brand’s love for creativity and Made In Italy craftsmanship, against the prevailing practices of fast fashion.

Among the most innovative sustainable materials of the collection are innovative carded wool double fabrics and sustainable long-hair fabrics made with MWool Recycled. Paddings are from 100% recycled PET bottles and GRS certified Bemberg materials from C.L.A.S.S. Smart Shop. Detox Green Peace committed viscose and cotton fabrics made according to responsible FSC production, and eco-friendly finishing standards add the line a clear character.

Calzolari has included upcycled old fabrics from stock and archive leftovers, and used Seaqual polyester recycled from plastics recovered from the sea, and Made in Italy Newlife polyester, a fiber obtained from mechanically recycling from plastic bottles throughout traceable and transparent chain. GOTS certified silk fabrics, handcrafted knitwear in regenerated wool and eco-fur from the stock archive complete the selection.

The collection also features “Pantone” looks obtained from printing proof sheets generated by printers every time they need to set the color on a certain fabric, and soon after discarded. Ankle boots’ uppers, courtesy of Kallisté, are made from recycled plastic. Upcycled eyewear is a special project by Angelica Pagnelli, custom-made exclusively for Gilberto Calzolari, consisting of a brand-new restyling of vintage frames paired with high-tech, brand-new colored lenses.

Gilberto Calzolari
Photo: Gilberto Calzolari
Gilberto Calzolari

The sustainable side of Geox
Sustainability is increasingly relevant for the Italian footwear and outerwear brand Geox. It debuted a more sustainable version of its Spherica shoe model with an upper made in a mix of leather and Econyl, a regenerated and regenerable nylon yarn developed from fishing nets.

Among its most sustainable women’s jackets there is a parka in water-repellent patent-effect fabric that has been padded with EcologicWarm technology, a warm recycled synthetic material produced by certified GRS companies. A maxi long down jacket is padded with a soft and super light padding in genuine Xdown regenerated down.

A contemporary design long men’s high-protection jacket is padded with Thermore Ecodown 2.0, a padding 100% made recycled from PET bottles.

Photo: Geox

Prêt-à-Reporter is the new cool
Rather than betting on specific sustainable materials Cividini counts on its own philosophy to offer high-quality, rigorous and minimal design, neutral hues and easy to match–and often genderless–combinations not inspired by fashions but by style. "Prêt-à-Reporter” is the brand’s new mantra that favors a careful, conscious, responsible and cyclical use of resources. High quality fabrics such as baby llama mouflon, baby alpaca, wool and cashmere cloth, stretch wool crepe, super light flannel and velvet play a key role for this collection opting for longtime classic combinations like total white, black, blue, camel or mocha, white and camel, black and camel, white and gray, and similar combinations.
Photo: Cividini

Cuir, a natural beauty
Cuoio di Toscana, is a brand founded with the aim to support a key Italian cuir manufacturing district. Its purpose is to promote Made in Tuscany cuir obtained through slow vegetal tanning, a less harmful process that uses natural tanning substances derived from chestnut, mimosa and quebracho wood. It launched the special capsule Twenty21 designed by creative director Simone Guidarelli. The capsule offers apparel pieces made with vegetally tanned cuir usually destined for footwear’s soles now used as a very soft touch and versatile non-fabric interpreted for a selection of apparel pieces and accessories including a ’70s style trench, a perfecto jacket, a feminine skirt and a blouse with folded pleats.
Cuoio di Toscana Twenty21
Photo: Cuoio di Toscana
Cuoio di Toscana Twenty21

How three zippers can save the world
A special eco-friendly YKK zipper debuted at Milano Fashion Week–Natulon.
In 2014 the world produced 311 million tons of plastic and by 2050 plastic production is expected to increase even 3.6 more times that of 2014 (Source: “Rethinking the Future of Plastic” from Ellen MacArthur Foundation Report, 2016). Plastic is made from petroleum. This volume of plastic will account for 20% of total petroleum consumption by 2050.

To recycle a material mostly used for packaging usually employed only once, YKK has developed Natulon, a zipper made with plastic material derived from mechanically recycled plastic bottles. Three Natulon zippers are made from a single plastic bottle. So far YKK has recycled 470 tons of plastic waste, an equivalent of 16 million plastic bottles.

Among the variants of the Natulon zipper YKK has just developed Acroplating, a new plating technology that uses fewer resources and no harmful chemicals. The zipper specialist will soon also launch Vislon Nylon, an innovative zip that should ease the recycling of the garments.

Photo: YKK