Less Is More

MILAN – Italy produces 40 percent of all clothing, accessories and footwear made in Europe and 70 percent of all luxury fashion categories. The fashion industry is the second-largest polluting industry, after oil production. This makes it a priority for Italy to lead the industry in sustainability. The head of the Italian Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa, says they are "working toward creating clear criteria of what it means for the fashion industry to be environmentally sustainable."  It means change, and innovating all aspects of the industry to protect the natural world. If the commission seeks clear criteria to integrate sustainability in a meaningful way to the marketplace they may need to alter their public message and consider going full circle with better clothing recycling programs.Carlo Capasa agrees that consumers "love sustainability but they also love to buy cheap clothing." Maybe their message should be less is more. Quality over quantity and like food in Italy they should push for SLOW Fashion. Capasa's chamber group is working toward creating specific guidelines on chemical use and industrial discharge, as well as methods to ensure supply chains can be traced. I think changing the public message and the industry standard could help make steps toward these innovations. Let us hope it's not just hot air and that they are creating a real road map to the adoption of better methods in a reasonable time frame. What are the penalties for non- compliance, a dyeing planet and rising health care costs. Article Kelly Isaacs, Photo Kaci Baum

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