Fashion and circular economy, the preferred development model for the 21st century according to the European Union. How they can be integrated?How technology can invent new ways to foster sustainability of industrial processes. Here are some virtuous examples.
According to what Josef Nierling, CEO of Porsche Consulting, wrote on Milano Finanza “the circular economy is an opportunity to consume less resources and less energy based on the principles of maximum efficiency and reuse.” It is an opportunity that can be even more successful if linked to technological innovation capable of transforming today’s products into services (mobility in sharing is an example), of redesigning products according to the rules of eco-design, and of optimising and enhancing prototypes and production thanks to Industry 4.0 and 3D printing.
Some virtuous examples of this are Cucinelli’s factory of the future and shoes without a carbon footprint by NRG Energy.
The Contemporary Factory of Brunello Cucinelli will digitise the most repetitive steps, thus giving people more time to devote to creative and design processes. A model that will be applied in 18 months of work to about 330 companies, for a total of 3,700 employees, under the slogan of the brand: “Humans are only creative when the atmosphere that surrounds them is a bit special. To do this, people must live and work in better conditions…No one can replace man and to achieve excellence we must rediscover the value of manual labour.”
On another front, NRG Energy started with the question: we recycle metal, plastic, glass, paper… why not do the same with carbon dioxide? This provocation led to the creation of a sneaker prototype that features captured carbon dioxide in the foam of its sole, which would normally be emitted into the atmosphere. The “Shoe Without a Footprint” project is a clear sign of how we can imagine a wide-ranging circular economy capable of not only reducing emissions in the atmosphere but also reusing existing ones.
An all-embracing struggle, whose importance was also emphasised at the Disrupting Sustainability seminar organised by UNIC in New York. For the leather world, it is crucial to “create a design discontinuity and to thrust sustainability into a new dimension, not a futuristic one but a ‘coordinated and shared’ dimension where not only Italian tanneries can find room, but also the entire leather supply chain.”
For Federico Brugnoli (SPIN360)
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important and is an irreversible trend within the leather supply chain where practices that do not fulfil criteria of sustainability represent a very high risk for brands, in terms of loss of reputation. Not surprisingly, these brands are currently developing some extremely inclusive risk management procedures related to sustainability. Italian tanneries have the task of bringing sustainability inside all their activities and research.
Hence, the project proposed by Giacomo Zorzi, ICEC auditor: “There is a need to implement a new approach within the supply chain that creates efficiency at all levels. A Sustainability Free Pass is needed based on the common awareness that the sharing of high-profile sustainable models between suppliers and customers represents an innovative and more efficient strategy to ensure full compliance with each principle of sustainability. We are offering the industry new management tools for an industrial activity based on a concept of effective transparency.”