When it comes to sustainability in fashion there is a lot that goes into making sure that the next step is in line with the brand ’s vision. In this regard, ISKO continues to be on an upward trajectory aimed at changing the game and the industry. Marco Lucietti, Director of Strategic Projects at ISKO, and Massimo Munari, ISKO’s Creative Room Art Director, share their insights.
Sustainability is definitely a crucial point in fashion today. How is this game-changing shift, which entails both business as well as culture, shaping the industry?
Marco Lucietti, ISKO Director of Strategic Projects: “When speaking of fashion and sustainability, a great push for innovation is needed, capable of maximizing improvements in the responsible journey. ISKO knows how to do this thanks to its constant research to reduce the use of virgin materials as well as lowering its environmental impact. This is how Ctrl+Z came to be, now extended to 80% of the entire ISKO collection, which is revolutionary because it allows to obtain the same performance of traditional fabrics but with outstanding sustainable credentials that will become the standard for the company and for the industry. Today, it is a real accomplishment for us to see more and more brands and talents, for example Chet Lo and others that participated in the London Fashion Week, relying on our Ctrl+Z fabrics. Furthermore, consumers no longer feel “brand loyalty” towards brands that do not engage them with a beautiful but also transparent and certified product. Thus, a real brand experience is offered as well as a product one.”
Massimo Munari, ISKO’s Creative Room Art Director: “Sustainability no longer means “boring” fashion and it doesn’t limit creativity at all, au contraire the right sustainable innovation allows us to do extremely imaginative things while always having environmental and social issues in mind. Today’s consumers buy denim first because it is exciting and then because it is sustainable; therefore, it is up to the creative mind to move within precise sustainable boundaries and offering a new take. For someone like me it is a wonderful challenge.”
How does all of this resonate with the intrinsic quest for beauty, aesthetics, and even self-fulfillment that is typically inherent to the way people live and breathe fashion every day?
Marco Lucietti: “Denim is in itself a democratic product, capable of living on the catwalk or in fast fashion, and it is the only fashion product capable of reading social changes, being almost a “thermometer of society” and its changes. It is important to be able to meet the needs of brands of all levels and of all types of people. With this approach ISKO caters to fast fashion brands as well as the luxury segment, with the ISKOTM Luxury by PG collection, an iconic reinterpretation of a democratic product.”
Massimo Munari: “Fashion must first of all please and excite people. Combining sustainability and emotion in a product means researching materials, fit, accessories, washing and product packaging, always remembering at all stages of development the creative and the sustainable aspects, avoiding wasting materials, using sustainable materials and seeking solutions that lend themselves to reuse. Today, certainly, the new CAD technologies and the availability of customized fits for different types of consumers with different body types depending on the markets served by the brand help in the development process.”
While ISKO is a global and international powerhouse, Italy has always represented a key hub. What role does Made in Italy play in the contemporary scenario?
Marco Lucietti: “ISKO has always paid attention to where trends start or develop and Italy is definitely a key hub for the denim industry. As such, the hubs in Italy are the way in which we understand where the denim industry is heading, what’s happening in the market. Also, being a multinational company, we do have hubs in the UK, in Germany, in the US. We tend to stay close to our customers trying to interpret the need of each market with a “global” approach.”
Massimo Munari: “Italy certainly has an essential role in interpreting quality, craftsmanship and knowledge of raw materials and the creation of products without forgetting the continuous innovation of treatments. The most famous brands in the world opt for research with a Made in Italy flavor to it not only in terms of design and treatments but mainly for the experience and the technical solutions that a country like Italy can offer. 12 years ago, ISKO Creative Room came to be thanks to an idea by the ISKO management, providing our customers with a hub of services in Italy dedicated to the denim world – from design to CAD up to the first prototype. An all-round service for our customers, providing research, technical solutions and a dedicated showroom, as well as the research and development of treatments in collaboration with our other hubs located in the Marche region.”
How is it possible to make sure the industry moves as one in the right direction? What is the added value that players can make available for the new generations of talents, designers and innovators?
Marco Lucietti: “Through collaboration, education as mentors, partnerships with promising talents, ISKO has been paving the way since 2013 with the launch of the ISKO I-SKOOLTM contest, where we have been mentoring generations of new designers on the development of denim. The demand for sustainable materials and developments was one of their top priorities and ISKO was the perfect match.”
Massimo Munari: “Passing on knowledge, making experiences available, being able to identify together the most promising changes for the future, this is what will take us further. The experience in mentoring new designers has been one of the most satisfying of my career. There is no better way of leaving a mark on the industry than helping the development of new talents. I have to say that I have mentored new talents as much as I have learned from them – a mutual virtuous exchange. Also, it helped me to understand where the market is heading and which products the new generations are looking for.”
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