I spent the first weekend of July in the Veneto region of Italy at a teaser event hosted by Not Just A Label to launch their new concept in trade fairs, Origin, in the same region next year. Designers from four distinct tribes (textiles, leather, jewelry, technology) as well as educators, manufacturers, press and industry professionals from New York, London, Paris, Beijing, etc... were transported to a magical villa near Venice so we could combine forces and problem solve the plight of emerging designers.
As part of this event we were treated to tours of various factories in the region, one of these was Bonotto , a fourth-generation textile mill, originally founded in 1912 by Luigi Bonotto to manufacture straw hats. Today Bonotto SpA is a full-cycle vertical industry, employing about 200 master craftsmen.
“Fabbrica Lenta” ["Slow Factory"] is a new manufacturing model that revalues the culture of working with the hands; smaller quantities are produced, but to the highest standard of workmanship. Bonotto’s master artisans have gone back to the working methods of the late 1940s, in which the touch of the human hand is still visible, and makes all the difference.
“Fabbrica Lenta” is a statement of principle: a manifesto against industrial standardization and low-cost mass production.
Slow Fashion has been gaining momentum within the sustainable fashion community over the past few years and has more recently been adopted by consumers who already have an understanding of sustainability. This concept requires designers to provide more transparency in their process allowing consumers an insight into their thought process and reasons for fabric, production and sourcing choices. After all, isn't a glimpse into the working process of a designer what everyone wants to see? Or is that just my perspective?
For a list of designers adopting the slow fashion model, see this post by Fashionista.