Education and Sustainability for Tommy Jeans

Sustainability is about creative solutions. New generations are bringing new brilliant ideas, raising hopes for a more sustainable and inclusive world.

Talking about fashion, in our article we have already presented “The Refresh Session”, a project launched by Tommy Jeans in collaboration with nss magazine and 4 Italian design universities.

What is the “The Refresh Session” by Tommy Jeans?

The students who attended the masterclasses learned how to turn old denim into cool accessories from some exceptional designers: the duo APJP and the duo VGOGHI and Formy.

APJP stands for Alberto Panocchi and Joelle Pomioli, a duo known for reviving used and vintage clothing by adding bold, hand-painted patterns. Their mission is to donate a second life by using artistic expressions in the spirit of spontaneous colors and creativity. The duo has launched its own denim collection as well as numerous collaborations with important brands.

duo APJP
The duo APJP

Greg, in art VGOGHI, is a fashion designer and fabric researcher who explores different techniques of texturization and ripple on clothes, creating innovative customs using 3D printing and laser cutting. His friend and colleague Domenico Formichetti is the founder of Formy Studio, a disruptive brand that wants to challenge fashion canons, representing individuals’ pulses and promoting diversity and inclusivity through customized and innovative concepts and designs.

Greg and Domenico Formichetti - Formy Studio
Greg and Domenico Formichetti – Formy Studio

These young Italian creators are the evidence that new generations are precious sources of innovation and creativity. They deserve to be trusted and to have a voice, especially in Italy: the cultural cradle par excellence.

We truly believe that new generations will make the difference and for this reason we decided to interview the winners of the social battle that followed the masterclasses, showing the students’ creations on Social Media.

Why is so important to merge education with sustainability?

This new generation of designers has already embedded sustainability in their projects and their minds, combining their creativity with innovative visions.

Creativity, innovation, and education are the best allies of sustainability. We should all invest in them both as individuals and as institutions.

These three key factors are not only essential for the growth of a country, but they can be turned into competitive advantages for a country like Italy, where the Cultural and Creative Productive System owns 6,8% of the total national wealth.

We have been offered the unprecedented opportunity to grow and build a better future for us and our planet by investing in what we do best: create and educate.

Do not waste this invaluable opportunity, let’s promote projects like “The Refresh Session” and let’s involve new generations: they are the hope of today and the people of tomorrow.

The winners point of view

Haigann Fevrier-President

Haigann Fevrier-President is a sophomore in Fashion Design Management at Polimoda. She worked for Eco Equitable, a Canadian nonprofit that gave immigrant women temporary jobs and training to develop their skills through textile recycling and sewing.

How important is sustainability to you?

It is very important as it should be for everyone.
I think that in today’s climate we are constantly seeing the effects of years of exploitation of our natural resources. To move forward in a way that benefits the planet as well as fulfills our wants, needs, and desires, it’s imperative that individuals inside and outside of the fashion industry move in a direction that constantly factors in ways they can be sustainable in their craft.

How often do you implement sustainability in your projects? In which ways?

I would say that almost every one of my projects incorporates sustainability in some way.
The first time I worked on a large project, I made all of the garments from old curtains and upholstery scraps from around my home. I also took some classes and volunteered at a charitable organization and social enterprise that supports newcomer women in developing the skills necessary for financial autonomy through sewing “while greening the environment”, called Eco Equitable. Here they sold recycled fabrics and I sourced some of my material from there as well.

I’ve struggled to determine what exactly I wanted to do or say with my work, and I still do; I am still learning and growing as a student. Being a student, with a limited budget, participating in this competition made me reevaluate and realize that this is what I love doing. I love taking random items found around the house such as recycled fabric and crafting them spontaneously. I intend to do a lot more of that with my work in the future.

The design phase is responsible for a large amount of waste in the production process. Do you feel confident in designing with a zero-waste approach? What are the main challenges?

A zero-waste approach is something I don’t feel confident in being able to execute at the moment but I am constantly striving towards it with my work.
The difficulty for me is having to use everything, even when your designs may not call for it. Regardless, I know it is possible and that’s why I support it. I am striving towards it and encourage others to do so as well. I try to combat some of the challenges by taking into consideration how much material I have to work with before designing. Doing so helps me visualize proportions and sizing. Overall, it helps to decide how best to use the materials.

What impressed you the most about Vgoghi and Formy?

What impressed me the most about the duo, who walked us through how to make the bucket hat, was their ability to understand their creativity and translate it to a wearable product in such a short amount of time. It was evident that they worked well together but beyond that, they had a vast understanding of how to use the materials they were given. They encouraged creativity and provided examples that guided students to do the same but in their way. I felt comfortable taking an alternative approach with them as instructors.

How do you see the future of sustainable fashion?

I anticipate a very bright future for sustainable fashion. With the amount of clothing that is discarded daily let alone yearly, retailers owe it to themselves and the world to take a look at what’s available and design with that in mind. I see on my social media young designers creating with whatever they have available and receiving positive responses. I understand that designing with recycled materials means a lot of the pieces won’t be exactly the same when mass producing but I see that as a positive. People like knowing what they have is unique. For designers and retailers to work in that way would mean every piece would be slightly distinctive.

Paolo Bianchi

Paolo Bianchi studies at IED Milano. He is a tech enthusiast and wants to combine his passion with his dream: working in the fashion industry.

How important is sustainability to you?

Sustainability is fundamental and it must be fundamental for everyone. We have reached a point in which making mistakes is no longer acceptable.

I always try to include sustainability in my projects: my final thesis will be completely based on recycling. I hope that in 2021 recycling will not be a taboo anymore, a voice excluded from the choir, but that it will become the basis for every fashion reality and more.

How often do you implement sustainability in your projects? In which ways?

In all my university projects, I try to insert the sustainability topic as a central element, especially searching for fabrics that have a low environmental impact and that are derived from recycling processes. My goal is to limit pollution as much as possible through my work.
I always try to use waste fabrics that originated from my previous projects.

How do you see the future of sustainable fashion?

I have trust, trust in people, trust that in the future (hopefully a near future), the fashion industry will reach a point in which it will not impact negatively the environment anymore, as it has been doing till now. Luckily, many companies have been born to put sustainability as a priority, and hopefully, they will become an example for everybody to follow.

Raffaella Petraccaro

Raffaella Petraccaro studies fashion at IUAD Napoli. She is determined to follow her “hybrid place” where she can put together all her inspirations.

How important is sustainability to you?

Sustainability is a very important concept for our society and, consequently,
for me, it’s even more so in fashion.
Fashion is the mirror of society, but also a way of communicating and changing things.
The task of us designers is to conceive sustainability not as a trend, an aesthetic category, but as a process aimed at enhancing man, his evolution, his feelings.
Especially at a time like this, where nature is demonstrating its rebellion, a reaction to our mistakes, even buying a fashion product sustainable is a good opportunity to reflect, to create a link with the land in we live.

What impressed you the most about the duo APJP?

I like to meet people with a mind that is constantly evolving, positive towards confrontation, and exchange of ideas. People who still know how to marvel at comparing themselves with others and APJP in this were formidable.

How do you see the future of sustainable fashion?

I see people much more aware of the issue of sustainability; it is a total change that will occur over time, but it will happen.

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