Written by Roberta
The other morning I was thinking about this post while I was chopping wood for the stove.
I wanted to talk about ethical and sustainable fashion and about our jewels with recycled skateboard decks.
Meanwhile, I was also starting to think about the urgent things to do during the day: update our online shop, send some emails, close a project.
Being out in the garden, with our dogs lying in the sun, warming up in the cold morning air, made me feel good, but I also felt a little late for the work to do for our brand.
And there, with the ax in hand and the wood to collect on the ground, I realized: this is not a waste of time, compared to the time of “work”.
Not only do we work as much environmentally friendly as possible, but we also try to live “slowly”.
Chopping wood for the stove is also part of our job and our way toward ecology. So today I am telling you about it.
We are a craft brand, we make our jewels directly in our laboratory in Italy.
We are also very different from most of the players in sustainable fashion, directly taking care of production and sales, due to the materials we use, which are unusual for jewellery.
But let’s take a step back, what is meant by sustainable fashion?
Kate Fletcher, an English researcher who deals with these topics, gives an overview of the various definitions.
Green fashion, ethical fashion, eco fashion, slow fashion.
Basically they are used interchangeably, especially recently, as these themes have become trendy.
According to Fletcher, “green fashion” was the most used definition at the beginning and in the industrial field, it underlines the environmental aspects, often in relation to a single product or production process.
“Ethical fashion” emphasizes the social aspects, working conditions as well as the environmental aspects and the choice of materials.
“Eco fashion” refers to product design that maximizes resource efficiency and minimizes waste, while “sustainable fashion” indicates awareness of long-term systemic interconnections between material, social and cultural contexts.
(Kate Fletcher, Fashion, design and sustainability, 2018, Postmedia, Milan, p. 15).
Lately people also talks about “slow fashion“: a real movement, according to the researcher, in opposition to “fast fashion” and the social and environmental damages that model entails.
Slow fashion concerns not only the production processes, materials, products, but also the choices and the practices of use of the people.
So we need to look at the entire life of objects, not only at the production stage, but also at the uses that people make of them, at the social and cultural contexts.
Fletcher has explored this topic with different projects, one of them is Craft of use, about local knowledge and the practices of using clothes and accessories by the people.
Anyone interested in ecology and respect for labor rights in the fashion system often buys less and better, repairs, reuses, buys quality vintage and used items.
In sustainable fashion, the products are on average more expensive, the materials, the production methods are different, there is often a lot of craftsmanship, the garments or accessories are produced more locally, therefore also in the countries of the North of the world.
Prices are almost always higher, but according to Fletcher this is right, it reflects the working conditions and attention to ecology that fast fashion cannot respect, in order to obtain low prices.
It is therefore a question of buying less but buying better, products that are more durable over time, more original, more independent of the extemporaneous and seasonal fashions of the mainstream, closer to the identity of the consumer who chooses them.
Fletcher also answers the obvious question of how it is possible to talk about the democratization of fashion if prices are generally higher.
In addition to the price of the product, we need to look at the whole system.
In slow and sustainable fashion, people, both producers and consumers, have more control over technologies, production and marketing relationships, they are therefore active protagonists and less “cogs” of a global system.
Among our best sellers products there are the rings made of recycled skateboard wood.
We want to tell you how the material and workmanship influence the design and therefore also the choices of the people who buy them.
We like to skateboarding (Simone has been practicing this sport for about thirty years, in the past also at a competitive level), so we have many used skate decks.
By making wooden jewels, it was natural to use the wood of skateboard decks as well.
It is Canadian maple, plywood, and often there are colors inside, for the aesthetics of the boards, which also have graphics on the underside.
Simone combines and dyes the boards to get different colors.
One thing that this material doesn’t allow us to do, for example, is to reproduce the collections as we would like, because sometimes a color may not be available, the tables or combinations are finished and we don’t have other ones that are the same.
Hence the inspiration to design the skate rings as a limited edition series, in combination with the resin bases.
We made and signed also some collections also for Agnes B.
In fact, even the resin is handcrafted by Simone and colored in paste, with earths and pigments, so even for the bases we create always different colors and combinations.
The rings are limited edition, of only 10 – 20 pieces for each combination.
These rings have recently been featured in Flow France magazine, because of their ecological, recycling – upcycling value, as well as for their style.
We want to tell you an anecdote: when the magazine came out in January, on our online shop there were only two pieces left, in two sizes, of the ring published on Flow. The last ones left of an edition of 10 pieces. Of course, they sold out immediately.
By a lucky chance we still had a piece of a skate deck with those colors in our workshop and we managed to redo some of them!
But we think that who buys our jewels seeks and appreciates originality, limited editions, the fact of having personalized objects and sometimes unique pieces.
What do you think about it?
Has uniqueness some relation with slow fashion?