Sustainable thinking is possible. Actually, it’s vital. The world of fashion and design must foster conditions that satisfy current needs without compromising future generations. With this urgent need in mind, 12 April 2019 saw the opening of the Sustainable Thinking exhibition at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence. Works by international artists and fashion designers who have successfully captured a vision that reflects on re-establishing a healthy bond with the natural world will be on display until 8 March 2020. This can be achieved by introducing new eco-friendly materials and perfecting manufacturing processes, with the main aims of safeguarding ecosystems and helping to re-establish societal values.
The exhibition is a hub that brings together a wide range of ideas focused on the pivotal role of using organic materials, our relationship with technology and the importance of creative reuse.
The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections. The first section is called Transformation and deals with recycling waste material, which enables us to create new products. Sweatshirts are made from plastic bottles, fishing nets become technical fabrics, and leftover wine and pineapple are used to create plant-based leathers.
The second area, dedicated to Craftsmanship and Social Fashion, features a series of garments made using techniques handed down over the years (sometimes over centuries), which have contributed to the history of Italian manufacturing. Certain garments are hand-made using a loom in an environmentally sustainable way and others showcase fabric-painting techniques. There are pieces with crochet or patchwork-detailing created by weaving strips of fabric together or juxtaposing leathers.
The third section is entitled Back to Nature and is dedicated to garments whose style and materials are inherently green. The group of designers took inspiration from the environment, working with eco-friendly fabrics and organic fibres, and taking the proximity of materials found and water and energy savings into account.
Finally, the fourth section is dedicated to Innovation and showcases revolutionary techniques that will create the garments of the future. Clothing made using 3D printing, fabrics developed using microbial cultivation and wearable tech, able to monitor your heart rate and shield you from electromagnetic waves are also on display.
The artists, fashion designers and fabric and yarn manufacturers present in the Sustainable Thinking exhibition come from all over the world: from China to Italy and Japan to Argentina, right through to the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The project was conceived by Stefania Ricci, director of the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and the Fondazione Ferragamo. Giusy Bettoni, Arabella S. Natalini, Sara Sozzani Maino and Marina Spadafora contributed to the exhibition.