What is 'sustainability'? This is a concept that implies a constant, preferably growing, environmental, social and economic well-being, and the prospect of leaving to future generations a better quality of life and environment compared to the current one. Through our brand research we have always paid attention to social and economic sustainability, we prefer highly specialized and high quality international artisan businesses. We do not advertise it, but we always been working with sustainable brands, some have collaborated with prisons or with depressed central and south American realities, all of them have a great manufacturing potential. Ln Knits is a brand that for every handmade scarf gives work to a worker for a week. These are areas where otherwise there would be no work. Jupe by Jackie, Péro, Injiri are brands that have developed craftsmanship of the highest level in India. Mina Perhonen's stylist, Akira Minagawa, designs and manufactures original fabrics giving work in Japan. Pietro Pianforini has been developing his most special knitwear working with professionals knitters from Parma for decades, they can produce certain embroideries that almost no one is able to do anymore. Our brand Kalia is produced entirely in Lombardy and using some eco fabrics. Land development is a fundamental part of sustainability!
We decided to stop working with brands that didn't satisfy us and to give more space to Kalia and other brands that give more value to their social environment. Making a contribution, even a small one, to the development of our region we believe it is a value. Why insist on buying a big brand, a 'name', perhaps produced in Romania and then labeled in Italy to have the recognition of 'made in Italy' when you can at a reasonable price contribute to doing something beautiful for your region? The mark ups of the most famous brands can reach ten times the price of origin. This is often to cover the very high communication costs and needs of investors.
Paul Harnden is a small brand of the highest quality, he selects English fabrics and produces everything in the UK, his manufacture is in Brighton and it is so important to the city. Happy Sheep has created a modern factory in Nepal, giving quality working conditions. Office Creative and Una Sera produce their shoes in Marche which is a staple of excellence for Italian shoes. Always from Marche is Montegallo Hats, a brand that is inspired by the ancient tradition of local women to weave wheat stems to create hats. From this tradition, Alice Catena has created a brand of avant-garde and very refined hats. Grevi is another craftmanship hats brand based in Florence. In Florence we can also find Barbara Tani and Her shirt who respectively produce their trousers and their shirts: they constitute local development. Le Nora, Forte Forte, Vivetta are made in Veneto. Tagliatore is from Puglia. From next season we will also have on board Daniela Gregis, who produces everything in a super-artisan way and in a loom in her workshop in Bergamo.
Jil Sander selects top quality fabric suppliers and produces everything exclusively in Italy, Miyake, Y’s and Comme des Garcons have almost all their production in Japan; Camilla in Australia, Loveshackfancy, United States; My Sleeping Gipsy, Ukraine: using local women who embroider linen by hand. Sarah's bags, who gives work to women in prison in Lebanon.
Lately, we are very attentive not only to social and economic sustainability but also to environmental sustainability. As we said, a part of Kalia is produced with eco fabrics, our other brands pay attention in fabrics and production. Rice, a brand specialized in shoemaking has a very interesting story, founders carefully select organic and even vegan materials and produce everything by hand in a manufacture in Barcelona where they have been producing espadrilles for over a hundred years. We pay attention when we do the buying for our boutique, we look at style, quality and last but not least, sustainability. We believe it is a must to pay attention to sustainability, we have to look out for future generations and contribute to maintain and develop artisan works and productive knowledge that otherwise would be lost.