The first Showroom entirely dedicated to garments made according to the principles of ethics and sustainability will open the doors of its third edition, from 21 to 27 February in Milan, at the same time as Fashion Week. The Showroom will be hosted at the WSO’s future flagship store, Sustainable Friends.
The Ethical and Sustainable Showroom, a project of the World Sustainability Organization and part of the Sustainable Fashion program, returns to Milan, thanks to the overwhelming recognition given by the main newspapers in the sector in the previous two editions. The Showroom, which has also attracted the attention of influencers, buyers, and students from all over the world, aims to be a consolidated reality in offering an alternative trend to fast fashion that is both sustainable and attentive to workers’ rights.
For the first time, this edition, the Showroom finds a home in what will become the flagship store of the World Sustainability Organization, « Sustainable Friends » in Galleria Passarella 1, in Milan. The new WSO space, which will be opening soon, is designed to promote the culture of sustainable development, an alternative to consumerism, in one of the busiest commercial areas in the world: San Babila, the perimeter of the fashion district. Planning the Ethical and Sustainable Showroom as the first event of the future store was, therefore, a natural choice in the dialogue that the WSO intends to establish between space and content.
Some designers, part of the Friend of the Earth’s Sustainable Fashion project, will participate. Seven brands will display their garments and accessories made with sustainable, selected, and verified materials and processes. From Italy, we’ll see the brand Camilla which has already found space in magazines such as Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue Italia. In addition, there are two Swiss brands: Chiquet Corporate Fashion and Zoë Klose. And finally, four brands will be arriving from Brazil: Natural Cotton Colour, Trópicca, Celeste, and Demodê Ateliê.
CALL FOR INFLUENCERS AND A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE COTTON PRODUCTION
There are two novelties this year. First, bloggers and influencers who have long been committed to an ethical and green fashion industry will be invited to the Showroom to record and share their advice on making genuinely sustainable choices « beyond the claim ». The World Sustainability Organization will welcome them, acting as a megaphone and amplifying their messages. Moreover, the webinar « Sustainable cotton production and certification » will be held on Wednesday, 22 February, from 3 pm in Galleria Passarella 1. Rreze Masha, from the science department of Friend of the Earth, and designer Naomi Enetomhe, part of the Sustainable Fashion program, will delve into the topics of sustainable cotton production and certifications, the global cotton market, data and trends, and consumer awareness. The webinar’s case study will be Natural Cotton Colour, from Brazil, with a speech by Brand Consultant Elis Janoville. Those who can’t make it to the Showroom can follow the webinar online by registering at this link. As with previous editions, visitors can appreciate some of the garments worn by the WSO Models Project models during the entire week. The Project’s mission is to offer a platform where models can be treated equally as people, fully respecting their rights. It also aims to provide free, anonymous, and strictly confidential preliminary support for models who need legal aid and nutritional advice.
AN INDUSTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR 8% OF EMISSIONS
The fashion industry has been operating for years with a high impact on the environment, yet with hardly any social responsibility. Furthermore, numerous modeling agencies need to respect the basic principles of workers’ ethical and humane treatment. The WSO Ethical and Sustainable Showroom aims to tackle these issues and provide buyers with a trusted reference point for sustainably sourced, verified garments worn by models who are respected in their rights and whose work is supported and protected. In addition, revenues from the Showroom’s activity will mainly go to WSO’s conservation projects and campaigns. According to estimates by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the global fashion industry, worth almost 3 trillion dollars, is responsible for roughly 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Textile products consume approximately 215,000 billion liters of water annually, with chemicals released during production and consumption. Clothing is responsible for one-fifth of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year globally. Polyester, a petroleum-derived plastic, has overtaken cotton as the cornerstone of textile production. The search for alternative fabrics to polyester should therefore become a practice among companies and designers. In this direction, Friend of the Earth is committed to recognizing and giving visibility to brands that have already started thinking about the issue and are committed both to sustainable production techniques and to the choice of innovative raw materials.