Sustainability (also) rhymes with fashion, especially in Italy. Creating sustainable supply, manufacturing and distribution pipelines is one of the major challenges of our era – and the fashion industry, which in terms of export and global awareness is one of the country’s leading industries, is certainly at the forefront.
These are the premises of Monitor for Circular Fashion, a joint initiative of SDA Bocconi’s Sustainability Lab and Enel X – Enel Groups’s global business line offering innovation, energy transition and circular economy services – in partnership with integrated sustainability consultancy firm Eco-Age. It’s an ambitious, first-of-its-kind project that aims to dynamically outlining the state of the circular economy in the Italian fashion industry.
Monitor for Circular Fashion is engaging various representative players across the entire industry. Candiani Denim, Dedagroup Stealth, Intesa (an IBM Company), Manteco, RadiciGroup, Save The Duck, Vibram, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Vivienne Westwood, and YKK have been among the first brands to join the project. This community of companies, chosen for their sustainability and circularity front-runners in the Italian fashion industry, is already on a virtuous path, sharing ideas about the opportunities and challenges of circularity. They are specifically focusing on the best practices to identify and develop new applicable and measurable circular solutions. One of the main points concerns the key role of transparency and traceability in supply chains, which has the potential to substantiate the sustainability and circularity claims for all stakeholders, including consumers.
A circular approach implies overcoming the take-make-waste paradigm, ensuring products and materials are used as long as possible. This goal is achieved by redesigning manufacturing, logistic, distribution processes and customer journeys through five circular business models: Sustainable input, Life Extension, End of Life, Product as a Service, Sharing Platform.
The first step in the project is a Report, to be issued next September, on the sector’s macrotrends as well as the ability of companies to apply circular economy principles along the whole value chain. The report also includes practical proposals towards a “circular” revolution. Monitor for Circular Fashion also takes part in some of the calls to action on sustainability and circularity at a global level, starting from the UNECE Project “Enhancing Transparency and Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector”.
“A scientific approach is essential to enhance and grow the numerous pilot projects in circular fashion,” says Francesca Romana Rinaldi, coordinator of the Monitor for Circular Fashion. “With this project, we want to support companies in measuring their circularity performance, identifying the main specific KPIs. In an open dialogue with institutions and policy makers, a Circular Fashion Manifesto will give voice to the best practices in the Italian fashion system.”
“Circular economy is at the heart of our strategy,” says Nicola Tagliafierro, Head of Global Sustainability at Enel X, “Thanks to sustainable business opportunities it is able to generate, and which has allowed Enel Group to position as the leading global utility in the Dow Jones sustainability index. For this reason, we have decided to make our experience and know-how available to support one of Italy’s most important and strategic industries, with the aim of making the sector increasingly circular and an example for the global market.”
“I am very excited that Eco-Age is playing a strategic role in amplifying the key outputs of the research and in engaging new partners for the SDA Bocconi Monitor for Circular Fashion powered by Enel X” - Eco-Age’s cofounder and creative director Livia Firth concludes – “to place Italy at centre of the global discussion on sustainable fashion”.
SDA Bocconi School of Management