MAGAZINE April 16th, 2021

BLUE OF A KIND Interview

Fondazione Pistoletto

 

After the degree from Bocconi University in Milan, Fabrizio Consoli started working in a denim company where he was in charge of strategy. Soon, he realized that jeans are a dirty product: within the fashion system, it is one of the most impactful categories. Therefore, he started wondering whether good and sustainable jeans might exist and which features would make a product responsible. He concluded that the most sustainable development is the one already in circulation. And that's how Blue of a Kind was born in 2017, dismantling and rebuilding clothes collected from markets and storage facilities of American denim. 

Fabrizio, how does your creative work operate? 

We started with vintage five-pocket jeans. We found men from Bergamo who produce jeans, and we asked them: "Since you do this job, could you dismantle them for us?" Initially, they were confused, but then they got fond of it, and today we are partners. Our style is minimal: we take a pair of jeans and obtain a new one without adding patchwork or anything. Another distinctive element is the passion for the clothes' background: when we dismantle them, we try to keep and value the signs of time, even the original details caused by wear, like the shape of a mobile phone on the back pocket: the scars make the history of a pair of jeans. 

You started with old jeans (post-consumer), but then you integrated into your virtuous circle other types of waste? Which ones? 

"Yes, from the post-consumer, we also oriented to the pre-consumer: Candiani, for example, gives us production waste, samples, and leftovers of fabric, which we paint non uniformly on purpose with a powder obtained from discarded clothes that are separated according to their tone."

How many garments do you have in your collection?

"About twenty models. We work with the leftovers, and we move with a genderless view with sizes from 24 to 36. In contrast, upcycled clothes are born for women, and now we are working to make them unisex, even though some models remain typically for women, for example, the flare model. "

You are 360-degree responsible; do you think there is still room for improvement?

"Generally, we assume that when we talk about "upcycling," we refer to a patch in a system that does not work, a system that over-produces. In particular, the more we are concerned, the more we move on with the product, the more we come up with new ideas. We are working hard with water to find new solutions: with sustainable Recycrom dye, we use about 3 liters of water, but we think we can do even better."

What do you think about this great wave of sustainability purposes and statements? 

"I am apologetic about the path. If it goes in a particular direction, all the better. But it is clear that even though a company has specific values, it aims to grow. No matter how virtuous you are, you will use energy. You will hire people who move by cars, use computers, in short, you will impact. And so it is essential to do it as responsibly as possible. 

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