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28.1.15

Getting ready for Sustainable Luxury Forum 2015!

 
I hope to see you in Geneva on February 5th at the Sustainable Luxury Forum 2015 at Maison de la Paix - S 7 to join our Lab on "Next Generation Business: Crafting a New Enterprise DNA Fit for the Future"
Here are the great speakers I will meet during the panel: Marcello PALAZZI, CEO Europe, B-Corporation Labs (Netherlands), Benoit GREINDL, CEO, Montagne Alternative (Switzerland), Nicoletta IACOBACCI, Ambassador for Switzerland, Singularity University, (Switzerland).


Prepare for a deep dive into emerging business designs and models that are disrupting industries whilst raising customer value and contribute to well-being, such as the ‘circular economy’ approach, exponential organisation, sharing economy, ’shared value, true value, the ‘B Corps’ and others . This workshop will explore a dozen innovative models, their origins, mechanics and competitive consequences for the luxury sector!



19.1.15

Interview published by "The Montreal Fashion Society"


Here is an extract of the interview just published by The Montreal Fashion Society.

What’s the difference between sustainable fashion and responsible fashion?
Sustainable fashion refers to the relation with two stakeholders: environment and society.
Responsible fashion refers to all the different stakeholders and contexts (including environment and society). Other contexts are added to fashion which characterise the sector itself: media; artistic, cultural and territorial; regulatory and institutional; and ethical value.

Do you think responsible fashion can only exist in bigger financially at ease companies?
On the contrary, it could be much easier for small-medium companies to implement a 360° responsibility. Transparency and traceability, for instance, could be implemented faster with a local manufacturing and knowing very well each single supplier. The more stretched is the supply chain, the longer it will take.
The link with the local territory is much stronger if the company has just one headquarter in the same territory and long term contracts and agreements with the same people.

What would be the impact of applying sustainable fashion guidelines in the industry on costs if retailers, buyers, customers and suppliers applied them?
The good thing of responsibility is that it is a journey and not a final objective. This implies that the responsibility practices can be modular, incremental and customized. For example the costs of making the stores more eco-sustainable could go from low, by renewing the lighting with led lamps, to higher, by acquiring a LEED certification. Same thing can be done in each activity of the value chain.

Do you think sustainable fashion starts with customers. Why?
Customers play an important role in the activation of the virtuous cycle of responsibility. Nowadays they are increasingly interested in scrutinising—and having detailed information about— the entire production chain. However, it is equally true that it is not often possible to find out everything about a product’s history, origin and manufacturing techniques. In the vicious circle, without a clearly developed demand, companies in the textile & apparel sector choose not to invest in innovation; buyers, in turn, do not attend fairs dedicated to sustainable fashion and shops do not devote space to these products.

As mentioned in your book, responsibility for companies is often seen as a public relations tool, can you give us concrete examples of its benefits?
If companies are able to go from step 1, responsibility=PR tool to the final step, responsibility=source of competitive advantage, several benefits will be obtained: improvement of risk management; greater capacity to attract human capital; improvement of the business climate and of employee performance; increase in efficiency and optimisation of costs; increase in capacity to attract financial resources; reinforcing brand value.
A best practice I would like to mention is Brunello Cucinelli, an Italian luxury clothing company that applied the responsibility guidelines since it was founded.
In the beautiful context of verdant Umbria, Brunello Cucinelli creates quality products with a shrewd use of natural materials, with the involvement of sensitive, motivated and properly rewarded collaborators in the production process, with an image that seems at one with the historic urban settlement of an ancient civilisation, and with an intact and enchanting landscape, the medieval village of Solomeo (see Chapter 8 of the book).
Among the most important factors that increased the market value of the company during the public listing we can find its humanistic philosophy. Ethical and humanistic entrepreneurial model places people at the centre of the production process. It encourages the creativity of each worker and simultaneously develops within them a sense of profound participation in the group’s success and goals. This commitment is shared at all levels of the company and in external relations with “façonisti” and with clients around the globe, creating a strong level of loyalty and trust towards the company.


You mention in the book that the definitions of “eco-friendly”, “ethical”, “sustainable”, “responsible” fashion and similar are often used improperly and indistinctly. What are the biggest misconceptions about responsible fashion?
This is not just about bamboo and hemp clothing. It is not just about having a conscience. The big potential here is related to the creation of shared value, as some scholars would say, or as I prefer to put it: integrating ethics and aesthetics across the value chain. Indeed, working towards more responsible fashion means trying to answer the specific needs of a wide range of stakeholders: environment, society, workers, consumers, art, culture, territory, media, institutions. It is all interconnected. This is what gives responsible fashion so much potential.




7.1.15

Interview published on Sustainable Today

Happy New Year to everyone! Here is the first interview on sustainable fashion in 2015, just published on Sustainable Today.


Italian Author Tackles Sustainablity Issues in Fashion 

By Cat Kolonko
After reading, researching and writing about the fashion industry for sometime, an Italian author and blogger determined that it was lacking a managerial model for building and maintaining sustainability in fashion.
The Responsible Fashion Company written by Francesca Romana Rinaldi and Salvo Testa attempts to provide a new way of managing a company that incorporates sustainability and responsibility not just for the owners and employees but also for everyone involved from the beginning of the creation process to product consumption and beyond. The new model presented in the book is based on ethics, aesthetics and economic efficiency. These are the three variables that fashion companies need to manage better now and well into the future, explained Rinaldi in a recent telephone interview.
"A new mindset is needed to make responsible fashion the future of fashion," she says.
Author and blogger Francesca Romana Rinaldi
Book author and blogger Francesca Romana Rinaldi
Rinaldi's first brush with the idea of sustainability happened several years ago during a trip to London to attend a fashion exposition. As she became more involved writing and teaching on the topic she noticed a gap in literature, a lack of a managerial model for responsibility.
"Since then I found out it's not just about product responsibility," she says. "It's about all the different activities of the value chain and managing a balance with all the stakeholders."
The book discusses the fashion sectors on several different dimensions, including environment, society, media,   art, culture and territory; and regulatory and institutions.  They all feed into the concept of a corporation that values responsible sustainability, says Rinaldi.
The author's managerial model puts all stakeholders in a system with what she terms neo-consumers at the center, interacting and interested in all phases of production. A consumer centric concept gives weight to transparency and traceability, which is important to neo-consumers who are socially conscious about how products are made, the environmental impact and fair trade and labor, she says.
"Consumers don't exist in the way they did in the past," says Rinaldi. "They need to be more involved and interested and informed."
Leading and influencing this trend are people who embrace lifestyles of health and sustainability. They pursue a lifestyle based on ecological sustainability for their own health and  planet earth, explains Rinaldi. They eat organic food, recycle, use green energy and look for certifications that indicate environmental sensitivity and fair trade in the products they buy. They also are largely urban and want to be involved in the creative process of products.
Unlike classic images of eco-minded people of decades back, the neo-consumer does not shun technology and fashion, Rinaldi notes in her book.
Some companies more than others have adopted new technologies and internet commerce to establish new relations with the neo-consumer. For example, Nike with NikeID and Converse allow customers to personalize their sneakers during the creation process.
Sustainable fibers and textiles is one aspect of responsibility but there are others that encompass ethics and aesthetics. Innovation is also essential for responsible and sustainable fashion to succeed, says Rinaldi.
"...You cannot ignore aesthetics because that is the first element that consumers evaluate when deciding whether to buy a product...
"We cannot lie about this. There is just a really really small percentage of consumers that buy a product just because it is good, and not beautiful."
Still, Rinaldi maintains that it's possible to combine ethics with aesthetics and get people invested in not just the product but the philosophy of sustainability. When someone buys a t-shirt from a responsibly sustainable company it becomes more than just a t-shirt, she says.
"It's an incredible t-shirt because it is also sustainable. So it's a super t-shirt."
 Today companies that want to keep a competitive edge need to adopt corporate social responsibility in a meaningful way. Examples of those that embrace this philosophy are Columbia sportswear, Patagonia, People Tree, and lastly, one of the book's case studies Brunello Cucinelli.
Known for his cashmere sweaters, the Italian designer sells top quality clothing while striving to keep concern for workers at the core of the company business model of responsible fashion. Brunello Cucinelli is a company that has in its DNA the values of responsibility and it declares this to its investors, says Rinaldi.
Rinaldi and Testa present other case studies in the book and share the writing of chapters with other experts who delve into  many aspects of corporate responsibility throughout the creation and distribution process. Rinaldi says she hopes the book will be used by managers and students alike and by anyone interested in learning more about sustainable fashion.

13.12.14

Sustainability & Performance


Qual è il legame tra Sostenibilità & Performance nel settore moda?
Il 2 dicembre in SDA Bocconi sono stati presentati i risultati del field project MAFED "Il processo decisionale per la gestione della sostenibilità nella catena del valore" delle aziende moda realizzato con il contributo di Goldmann & Partners in cui abbiamo risposto a questa domanda.

“Un’impresa moda può essere considerata una best practice nella sostenibilità quando riesce ad integrare etica ed estetica nella filiera, attraverso azioni coerenti e continuative che coinvolgano tutti gli stakeholder”-  dichiara Francesca Romana Rinaldi, co-autrice de “L’impresa Moda Responsabile” (Egea, 2013) docente del MAFED SDA Bocconi e coordinatrice della ricerca -  “quando si parla di sostenibilità nel settore moda ci si riferisce sempre ad un percorso, mai ad un obiettivo finale. In particolare, la sostenibilità nel retail risulta interessante per diversi motivi: è visibile al consumatore, riguarda diversi stakeholder - in primis i consumatori, i lavoratori e gli investitori- e ha un impatto sulle 3P della sostenibilità: People, Profit, Planet.
Il negozio rappresenta il touchpoint ideale per raccontare la sostenibilità al consumatore, per sensibilizzarlo, per emozionarlo. Alcuni accorgimenti in termini di fattori ambientali e di design, sia estetici che funzionali, possono influenzare positivamente la percezione di benessere all’interno del negozio. Oggi una grande opportunità per le aziende è quella di inserire nel rituale di vendita degli assistenti alla vendita maggiori informazioni sulla propria strategia di responsabilità ambientale e sociale. La sfida è saper raccontare in modo coinvolgente la sostenibilità, anche attraverso l’utilizzo della tecnologia, permettendo al consumatore di acquisire tutti gli elementi necessari per apprezzare pienamente il valore aggiunto della sostenibilità.”


“Il retail, sia nel rapporto con i consumatori finali (negozi fisici) sia in quello con i buyer (show-room), oltre alla funzione distributiva, riveste un ruolo strategico nella comunicazione della vera essenza/identità del brand. Infatti, le diverse leve utilizzate a livello retail (store concept, vetrine, layout espositivi, assortimento prodotti, personale di vendita, eventi e customer relationship management) consentono nel loro insieme di rendere coerente e di massimizzare l'efficacia dello storytelling del brand” dichiara Salvo Testa, Senior Professor SDA Bocconi.
“Finora, anche nelle strategie di comunicazione a livello retail, hanno prevalso contenuti della brand identity volti ad enfatizzare le sole valenze aspirazionali, volte a rendere la shopping esperience unica ed emozionale. Oggi, con la crescente consapevolezza del consumatore finale alle tematiche di sostenibilità e di tracciabilità del prodotto, anche il retail può diventare uno strumento formidabile per veicolare tali nuovi contenuti della strategia di brand.

Isabella Goldmann, architetto, direttore scientifico del Centro Studi per la Sostenibilità Applicata Goldmann & Partners e autrice di “Architettura Sostenibile” (FAG 2013), che ha contribuito alla ricerca, afferma che “Questo studio ha reso evidente che la sostenibilità è un importante orientamento strategico, poiché vi si dimostra che l'investimento in sostenibilità dà un ritorno in termini di performance e di immagine percepita dal cliente, a partire dal momento in cui il cliente entra nel punto vendita. Il retail sostenibile è uno degli elementi centrali di questa analisi poiché il benessere generale all’interno dello spazio di vendita, risultato di un giusto mix di molteplici scelte tecniche, condiziona positivamente il percepito del brand  da parte del consumatore. All’interno del settore moda gli spazi di miglioramento del retailing sostenibile sono comunque ancora molto ampi. I criteri con cui questi miglioramenti posso essere portati fanno capo ai principi della architettura sostenibile, soprattutto quelli relativi alla progettazione bioclimatica di involucro e impianti, che va applicata con competenza e severità. E’ ormai scientificamente dimostrata l’influenza positiva sul corpo e sul comportamento umano di scelte progettuali corrette come l’utilizzo materiali non tossici, di livelli di illuminamento non aggressivi, di piante con forte capacità di purificazione e di impianti leggeri che garantiscano una buona qualità dell’aria interna. In uno spazio di vendita l’effetto di tali scelte progettuali corrette si afferma producendo un percepito positivo nei confronti del brand.”.

Rossella Ravagli, Head of Sustainability & Responsibility Gucci, "accanto ai valori che tutto il mondo associa inequivocabilmente al marchio Gucci, quali creatività, innovazione, artigianalità, qualità assoluta e made in Italy, Gucci ha da sempre posto un atteggiamento responsabile verso le persone, la cultura e l’ambiente con particolare attenzione al valore della sostenibilità. Nel 2004, Gucci si è distinta come una delle prime aziende del settore ad impostare volontariamente un processo di certificazione nel campo della responsabilità sociale d'impresa coinvolgendo tutta la sua filiera produttiva. Da oltre 10 anni ormai la sostenibilità è diventata parte integrante della strategia aziendale. Da un punto di vista ambientale, nel 2010 l’azienda ha ottenuto la certificazione 14001. Da allora abbiamo avviato un programma di iniziative eco-friendly, dedicando molta attenzione ai nostri uffici e negozi con azioni volte a limitare il consumo di energia e investendo sulla sostenibilità di materiali e processi.  Dopo aver ottenuto la certificazione LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) per il negozio di San Francisco e gli uffici di Shanghai, Gucci ha conseguito questo prestigioso riconoscimento anche per il negozio di Milano a Brera e per il nuovo centro logistico di S. Antonino in Svizzera, che e’ anche dotato dell’impianto fotovoltaico più grande di tutto il Ticino. Tutti i negozi sono concepiti in modo tale da massimizzare il risparmio energetico ed idrico, la riduzione delle emissioni di CO2, il miglioramento della qualità ecologica degli interni, dei materiali impiegati. Agire sulla sostenibilità degli spazi è importante per dare un messaggio di sensibilita’ su questi temi ai clienti, oggi sempre più attenti ed orientati a scelte d’acquisto consapevoli. Un ruolo fondamentale in questo processo e’ quello degli addetti alla vendita, in grado di trasmettere l’impegno e la sensibilita’ dell’azienda."

Rossella Schipani, HR Generalist Gap Italy , “Il percorso di Gap come azienda responsabile è iniziato fin dalla sua creazione, nel 1969. I  fondatori, Doris e Don Fisher hanno introdotto tra i valori portanti della cultura dell’impresa “Do What’s Right”, ovvero fare la cosa giusta, ispirando così migliaia di dipendenti in tutto il mondo a fare molto più che vendere vestiti. Questo principio continua a guidare il nostro impegno nella comunità in cui viviamo e lavoriamo, migliorando quindi la performance sociale e ambientale attraverso numerosi azioni. Tra le più rilevanti: la realizzazione annuale di un report sulla Social & Environmental Responsibility, la creazione di un programma rivolto ai dipendenti per incentivare il volontariato d’impresa, come il Payroll & Match giving o il Money for Time; infine il finanziamento di un progetto volto a promuovere la formazione e la crescita professionale delle donne che lavorano nei nostri stabilimenti produttivi in Asia”.


Ecco cosa ne hanno scritto alcuni magazines:






Event: Green Christmas

Ecco un evento dedicato a chi questo w-e vuole prepararsi ad un Verde Natale!



10.12.14

My new article in via Sarfatti 25: LONG LIVE FASHION

Ecco il mio nuovo articolo appena pubblicato su Sarfatti 25, la rivista dell'Università Bocconi.


Potete leggerlo a pagina 16 del numero di dicembre: http://www.viasarfatti25.unibocconi.it/rivista/2014/12/

30.11.14

The Fashion Globe Magazine writes about The Responsible Fashion Company


My last interview just published by The Fashion Globe Magazine.


MILAN, Italy — The so-called era of ‘liquid modernity’ is now embracing a new era of complexity, uncertainty and systematic doubt. We are at the point of an economic revolution, where the paradigms and business models of consumption are changing and the neo-consumer — better described as a 'consum-actor' or 'consum-author' — is both a user and an active part of the complex consumption dynamics. This is positively contributing to rethinking, rebuilding and redesigning the rules of the market. Furthermore, a new slow fashion movement has started an era of critical and participatory consumption characterised by a strong new opposition between ‘to be’ and ‘to use’.

Continue reading the article on The Fashion Globe