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Do you have a business idea in the closet? Discover the Business Idea Competition (BIC) in Fashion SDA Bocconi

From late March until June 4 2012 you are invited to participate in the international "Business Idea Competition (BIC) in Fashion" by sending your original business plan. The 15 most innovative and financially feasible ideas of any business within the fashion, luxury and design industries will have the chance to enroll in the Intensive SDA Bocconi course “Business Idea Competition in Fashion 2012: starting up a new company” which will be held on July 11, 12 and 13 in Milan. The program will consist of lectures from MAFED (Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management) SDA Bocconi and case studies to be updated on industry trends and learn the key factors in terms of strategy, branding and business planning, necessary to launch a new business venture. The course will be in English.
If you have an original and innovative business idea you can start to prepare your business plan and participate in the contest! Open Internet-based fashion company, launching a new line of accessories with an eco-sustainable business model or introducing a new distribution format in the footwear industry are just some examples.
The best projects will be selected by two faculty members of the SDA and a professional in the area of private equity. All participants will receive feedbacks and helpful comments for the improvement of their idea from the selection team.
The challenge is open to individuals or teams of up to three components and is open to participants from all over the world. To participate you must submit a business plan that must include a detailed description of the business idea and a financial plan. The proposal to be submitted online, should also include education of the participants and may also contain a video (up to 3 minutes) with which to present their idea.
The initiative is part of the Milano Summer School organized by the Municipality of Milan, which involves a number of universities and schools in Milan offering courses to students from all over the world during summer.

For information:
Francesca Romana Rinaldi, SDA Bocconi for Milano Summer School Coordinator:


Da fine marzo fino al 4 giugno 2012 sono aperte le candidature per partecipare al terzo concorso internazionale “Business Idea Competition (BIC) in Fashion”. Le 15 idee più innovative e finanziariamente fattibili per lanciare una nuova attività nel campo della moda potranno iscriversi al corso intensivo SDA Bocconi “Business Idea Competition in Fashion 2012: starting up a new company” che si terrà l’11, 12 e 13 luglio a Milano per apprendere come lanciare la propria attività nel campo della moda, lusso e design. Il percorso formativo si snoderà tra lezioni del MAFED (Master in Fashion, Experience and Design Management) SDA Bocconi e case studies per essere aggiornati sui trend del settore e apprendere i fattori chiave in termini di strategia, branding e business planning, necessari per lanciare una nuova avventura imprenditoriale. Il corso è in lingua inglese.
Chi ha un’idea originale ed innovativa in testa può iniziare a preparare un accurato business plan e partecipare al concorso! Aprire un’azienda fashion basata su internet, lanciare una nuova linea di accessori con un modello di business attento all’impatto ambientale o introdurre un nuovo format distributivo nel settore calzaturiero sono solo alcuni esempi.
I progetti migliori saranno selezionati da due membri della faculty SDA ed un professionista del mondo del private equity. Tutti i partecipanti al concorso riceveranno una valutazione della propria business idea da parte del team di selezione e utili commenti per il miglioramento della propria idea.
La sfida è aperta a individui o a team di massimo tre componenti proventi da tutto il mondo. Per partecipare bisogna presentare un business plan che deve comprendere una descrizione dettagliata della business idea e un piano di finanziamenti. La proposta, da presentare online, deve comprendere anche i curriculum dei partecipanti e può anche contenere un video di 3 minuti con il quale presentare la propria idea.
L’iniziativa fa parte del progetto Milano Summer School promosso dal Comune di Milano che coinvolge una serie di università e scuole milanesi nell’organizzare corsi di studio e formazione per studenti da tutto il mondo nel periodo estivo.

Per informazioni:
Francesca Romana Rinaldi, Coordinatore SDA Bocconi for Milano Summer School:


Bio-Fashion talks: today @ Palazzo Isimbardi

For those of you who were not at the round table about sustainable fashion today at Palazzo Isimbardi in is my presentation. I am curious to know what your think!
Per chi non era presente alla tavola rotonda di oggi al Palazzo Isimbardi di Milano...ecco la mia presentazione. Sono curiosa di sapere cosa ne pensate!


Bio-Fashion @ Earth Hour (March 31, h20.30-21.30)

Let's start the countdown to Earth Hour, the largest volunteer mobilization organized by WWF against climate change for a sustainable future, that on March 31 will create an exciting trip with the lights off around the world throughout all the time zones, to involve people, cities, institutions and companies in the change that will give the world a sustainable future, "inspiring" concrete actions at all levels of society.
È iniziato il conto alla rovescia per l’Ora della Terra del WWF, la più grande mobilitazione volontaria per la lotta al cambiamento climatico e per il futuro sostenibile, che il 31 marzo darà vita a un emozionante giro del mondo a luci spente attraverso tutti i fusi orari, per coinvolgere persone, città, istituzioni e imprese nel cambiamento che potrà dare al mondo un futuro sostenibile, “ispirando” azioni concrete a tutti i livelli della società.


H&M eco-friendly Conscious collection

H&M is expanding their eco-friendly Conscious collection with cocktail dresses and separates fit for the red carpet.
In the stores on April 12th.

Read More on Glamour

H&M sta espandendo la sua eco-friendly Conscious con abiti da cocktail e red carpet. Gli abiti saranno nei negozi il 12 aprile.

Leggi anche Glamour

Bio-Fashion @ Fa' la cosa giusta!


Incredible day @ People Tree: my interview with Safia Minney!

During my last visit in London I had the chance to meet Safia Minney, founder and CEO of People Tree. At first sight I understood why she has received so many international awards as best social entrepreneur!
We talked about the first years of People Tree which started as Global Village, an environmental campaigning NGO, founded in 1991 in Japan by Safia and then launched in Uk in 2001.

FRR: Why People Tree can be considered as a “responsible fashion company”?
SM: “People Tree was founded 20 years ago in Japan as a 100% Fair Trade company with the aim of improving conditions in factories with the objective of maximizing the employment of the people involved in the activity. People Tree uses organic cotton, a better fabric both for the environment and the farmers. As a social company People Tree takes all the decisions using the triple bottom line approach: the social principle requires that everyone be treated fairly and equitably. The economic principle requires the adequate production of resources so that society can maintain a reasonable standard of living, and the environmental principle asserts that society protects its environmental resources.”

FRR: Could you briefly describe the production process?

SM: “At People Tree we have 2 main collections: manufacturing takes about 4-5 months. About 4000 artisans are involved in the production of hand woven, hand knitted and hand embroidered fabrics.”
As written in the website hand weaving uses nine times more labour than material produced on a power loom. That's nine times more people provided with an income they can use to feed their families and send their kids to school. People Tree's partner Artisan Hut in Bangladesh works with 250 producers. They earn up to double what they would earn in the conventional garment sector – allowing them to escape poverty. What's more, hand looms don't use electric power – which keeps running costs down -and they don't suffer from power cuts, so they can be sited in small towns and villages, where the weavers' families live. So they can stay together rather than move to overcrowded cities to work alone. Knitting is also a powerful tool for economic change: at People Tree, they use it to provide underprivileged people all over the world with the income to escape from poverty. In Nepal and Peru and India People Tree works with over 1500 artisans. They hand knit and crochet natural fibres such as merino, alpaca, cotton and wool. In Peru, the knitters hand spin and hand knit organic alpaca, and pass these skills down to their children. And, Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS) provides training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged people in Nepal, at the same time as using the profits from Fair trade to run a school for 260 kids. Artisans in India and Bangladesh have passed embroidery skills down through generations. People Tree uses this rare talent to produce beautiful garments like the anya dress and shirt dress (which use a traditional embroidery style called nakshi kantha, a technique use originally to stitch together old saris into quilt).

FRR: Where can we find People Tree products?
SM: “People Tree can be found in more than 300 stockists in Uk and more than 50 in Europe.”
In Italy for example People Tree can be found at Particelle Complementari in Spazio Frida.
The two “flagship stores” are online: one in Japan, the other in Europe. All the collections can be bought directly online.

FRR: Which are the tools you use to communicate the sustainability to the customers?
SM: “People Tree promotes the products in the stores using POS material, leaflets, displays and 3 times per year through a catalogue. In the last years we started to communicate also through emotional videos such as the one of Bombolulu Workshops showing the artisans work and the final fashion show in the Bombolulu cultural center of Mombasa, Kenya.
Collaborations with celebrities are important for us: until now People Tree has worked with designers such as Zakee Shariff, Orla Kiely, Karen Nicol, Vivienne Westwood. We also created a successful collection with Emma Watson for Spring Summer 2011.
We proved that Fairtrade can be also high-fashion: in 2007 People Tree had a wonderful article on Vogue Japan.
Interacting with the government and the industry trying to stimulate consumer awareness is important as well: we try to do it through study meetings both in Japan and Uk.”

FRR: What about social media?
SM: “Having a direct relationship with the people that like People Tree is key: this is why People Tree has a Facebook page where all the interviews to People Tree, interesting links and events are published.”
For example you will find a post on the article published on The Ecologist on “how to give your wardrobe a green-over”!
“Then we have a You Tube page where all the videos are published
I also write posts on my blog and write tweets on Twitter: you can follow me @SafiaMinney.”

FRR: What are the main challenges of your social business?
SM: “In a social business you need to face the challenges of growing while being able to finance orders to producers in advance (usually 50%). The Fair Trade way of thinking and behaving gives priorities to the people and planet stakeholders (i.e. triple bottom line approach): investing in training to the workers, infrastructure developments are day-by-day issues to manage.
When thinking about external investors that want to become shareholders we want to be careful and accept only shareholders that share the same values. In order to help the cash-flow we issued bonds both in Uk and Japan: we have received about 700.000 pounds from individuals that want to help People Tree making beautiful garment and beautiful change happening somewhere in the world!”

After the talk I had the lucky chance to visit their London offices and feel the spirit of working for a cause in People Tree.

Watch the videos:
A talk with Safia...

...and finally a tour in the London offices of People Tree!

Here I am in the People Tree showroom with Beniamino, PR manager


Newlife by Filature Miroglio: textile innovation in sustainable fashion

Have you heard about "The Green Carpet Challenge" created by Livia Firth for the Oscar's night in LA? Newlife is the innovative fiber that was used to make her Armani and Valentino dresses in 2012.
Bio-Fashion interviewed Mr.Stefano Cochis, CEO of Filature Miroglio and inventor of Newlife™ to know more about it.

FR: Why is Newlife™ different from other PET textile?
SC: Newlife™ is a technologically innovative platform, certified by a systemic approach to production, offering a wide range of recycled polyester yarns of high quality and performance, derived from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles collected and processed entirely in Italy , starting from the polymer obtained through a mechanical process, not a chemical up to the production of the wire.
The peculiarity lies in the fact that the supply chain is based horizontally on partnership with an Italian certified system which is, therefore, totally traceable.

FR: Do you think Newlife™ could become the new standard in fashion and luxury?
SC: We are working on that. We want it to become at European level. Sustainable fashion at 360 degrees: a thread for any type textile putting together aesthetic, performance and innovation. It's always necessary to combine these 3 ingredients. We have added the 100% made in Italy in an Italian or rather Piemontese chain: this reflects the history of Italian districts, the supply chain concentrated in the districts, the product development in a narrow field.

FR: How important is innovation for developing sustainable fashion?
SC: Innovation is key and is asked by the consumer.
In order to grant to the sustainability a real impact it has to become a real business, not just an exercise in style.
Today, a basic product is no longer enough. Aesthetic and a wide range of products are needed as well. We have combined this with the concept of pipeline. Newlife has generated a strong interest from the market and there are many developments presently underway.

Avete sentito parlare di "The Green Carpet Challenge" creato da Livia Firth per la notte l'Oscar a Los Angeles? Newlife è la fibra innovativa che è stata utilizzata per i suoi abiti di Armani e Valentino nel 2012.
Bio-Fashion ha intervistato Mr.Stefano Cochis, CEO di Filature Miroglio e creatore di Newlife™ per saperne di più.

FR: Cosa distingue Newlife™ dagli altri PET?
SC: Newlife™ è la piattaforma tecnologicamente innovativa, certificata da un approccio produttivo sistemico, che offre una vasta gamma di fili di poliestere riciclato di alta qualità e performance, derivati al 100% da bottiglie di plastica post-consumo raccolte e processate interamente in Italia, a partire dal polimero ottenuto attraverso un processo meccanico e non chimico fino ad arrivare alla produzione del filo.
La particolarità sta nel fatto che la catena di fornitura si sviluppa orizzontalmente in un sistema di partnership italiane di filiera certificate e, pertanto, totalmente tracciabile.

FR: Crede che Newlife possa diventare il nuovo standard nella moda e nel lusso?
SC: tiamo lavorando per questo. Vorremmo che lo diventasse in ambito europeo. Moda sostenibile a 360 gradi come filato per realizzare qualsiasi tipo di capo senza rinunciare a tutto il resto mettendo insieme quindi estetica, performance e innovazione. E’ necessario coniugare sempre, senza compromessi, questi 3 ingredienti. Noi a questo abbiamo unito il 100% made in Italy in una filiera Italiana, anzi piemontese: ciò rispecchia la storia dei distretti italiani, quella del lavoro di filiera nei distretti, la messa a punto del prodotto in un ambito ristretto.

FR: Quanto conta l’innovazione perchè la moda sostenibile si affermi?
SC: L’innovazione è fondamentale e la sta chiedendo il consumatore. Nel mondo l’hanno capito in tanti, ancora pochi in Italia.
Perché la sostenibilità abbia un impatto vero deve diventare un business, non essere solo un esercizio di stile.
Oggi un prodotto basic non basta più. Servono anche estetica, varietà ed una gamma di prodotti. Noi abbiamo unito questo al concetto di fiiera. Newlife ha creato molto interesse da parte del mercato e molti sono gli sviluppi ad oggi in corso.


Bio-Fashion talks: can fashion really be sustainable?

I would like to invite you at the round table that will take place on March 27th (h9am-2pm) at Palazzo Isimbardi,Corso Monforte 35, Milan.
I will introduce some first results from the book I am writing: my speach will be about "The responsible fashion company: integrating ethics and aesthetics along the pipeline".
Hope to see you there!
Registration is required at


Vorrei invitarti al round table che si terrà il 27 marzo (h9-14) a Palazzo Isimbardi, Corso Monforte 35 a Milano.
Durante il convegno presenterò i primi risultati dal libro che sto scrivendo: il mio intervento sarà su "L'impresa moda responsabile: integrare etica ed estetica nella filiera".
Spero di vederti!
Richiesta registrazione inviando una mail a
Scarica il programma


Bio-Fashion loves "The Eternal Valley"!

Bio-Fashion just voted for the project The Eternal Valley (la vallée éternelle) in the EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) competition
Here is the link to vote: you have time until March 22nd.
This beautiful, wild valley in southern France, containing over 55 endangered species and housing 7 pure water springs is seeking permanent protection through Natura 2000, as well as bringing more visibility to the valley. The organisation wants to produce the first 100% non-profit wild honey dedicated to the protection of the wilderness and restore all local walking trails to allow people to discover the area without disturbing the incredibly varied and abundant wildlife. See more on and like it on Facebook