Highlights from our 36 hour sourcing trip in Milan
If you have been following our journey you will know our mission is to find the most sustainable materials out there for our new collection. Last week we visited the Lineapelle trade fair in Milan where we got to see many fantastic new developments in material and component innovation for accessories and footwear.
We spent two days there and had a great time exploring all of the exciting new processes and ideas, and talking with suppliers about their sustainability initiatives.
It was exciting and inspiring to see the many new eco-friendly materials, chrome-free and metal-free leathers, recycled fabrics and plastic-free leather alternatives that are available today. We came back with a full bag of swatches, color cards and ideas in our minds. Here are some highlights from the show we wanted to share with you.
Good to see that many tanneries are making steps towards sustainability. They make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, work on a better and more transparent supply chain and increase their social responsibility. We’ve seen many environmentally friendly chrome-free and heavy metal-free leather. This tanning process is not just less harmful to the environment and workers’ health but decreases water consumption, use of chemicals, pollution and CO2 emissions. It also degrades at certain levels at the end of its life.
We looked for the LWG ( Leather Working Group) certification, which is the most trusted international assessment in the leather industry.
Organic and recycled fabrics
We’ve seen certified recycled polyester fabrics made with yarn derived from plastic bottles which are more sustainable in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions than virgin materials. The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) is an international organization that verifies recycled content in fabrics and assures that products are processed in a more climate-friendly way.
Many suppliers offer GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or Better Cotton Initiative certified canvas fabrics which means that the organic cotton or other fibers don't contain pesticides and harmful chemicals.
Mirum is a plant-based material, made from agricultural waste such as rice hulls, coconut husk and rubber. It is suitable for footwear, fashion, automotive, and upholstery. This material is circular which means at the end of its life, it can be recycled or ground up and returned to the earth as a plastic-free option.
Suppliers launch new products such as zips made from regenerated nylon. This means that old fishing nets, fabric scraps from mills, carpet flooring and industrial plastic are collected from oceans and landfills and turned into yarn. This regenerated nylon has the same high quality as virgin nylon, without the traditional process of deriving it from oil. By eliminating the need for crude oil, CO2 emissions are also drastically reduced when creating regenerated nylon.
We’ve seen beautiful boxes, tags and dust bags made from sustainable materials such as recycled or FSC-certified paper, Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certified recycled polyester and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. Good to see that the packaging sector is working on a greener future by offering eco-friendly solutions and eliminating plastic materials.
Where did we stop, eat and shop in Milan
We always love to visit this museum and art gallery dedicated to contemporary art and culture. Don’t miss out on the Wes Anderson - designed cafe inside.
When you’re not shopping or visiting the famous 10 Corso Como store’s various showcases, stop to eat in the café and restaurant in the courtyard surrounded by lush perennial plants and seasonal flowers.
Armani’s bookstore is heaven for book lovers and anyone interested in beautiful objects.