Pitti Uomo | The Menswear Brands that Are Shaping the Sustainable Future of Fashion
It comes as no surprise that sustainability will be a key topic for many brands exhibiting next week at the menswear trade show Pitti Uomo. The fashion industry is increasingly focused on moving towards a better, sustainable future for the planet and people. This shift can be seen in many trade shows across the world, including Pitti Uomo.
An inspiring group of menswear brands will come together from 10th to 13th of January in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, for Pitti Uomo. Renowned for celebrating sartorial excellence, the event will welcome approximately 50 UK brands which UKFT is supporting with help from the Department for International Trade (DIT). Many have sustainable initiatives in their collections in addition to maintaining their focus on British heritage, ethical sourcing and manufacturing.
The UK fashion industry is known for making supply chains more sustainable and traceable. Exhibiting this year at Pitti Uomo, John Smedley, Johnstons of Elgin, Peregrine and Raeburn have signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero. This campaign works towards zero-carbon recovery to make the world more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable. This focus on sustainability is shared by most of the UK brands attending the show.
Using wool sustainably farmed in Yorkshire and spun in a 100-year-old county factory, fine knitwear brand John Smedley’s Mossley range ensures that fibres of the highest quality reach its craftspeople in Lea Mills. The brand, which has two Royal Warrants as ‘Manufacturer of Fine Knitwear”, has been preserving British craftsmanship while implementing sustainable initiatives.
Clothing brand Peregrine is also committed to sustainability by encouraging people to “Buy British. Buy Better. Buy Less.” – a point of view shared by many brands within the UK group. It has recently launched a Regenerative Wool collection, using British wool sourced from UK regenerative farms. This type of farming implements practices that improve soil health and biodiversity. Peregrine’s ambition is to source 100% British wool from regenerative farms over the next 5 years. The Peregrine team said:
“2022 marks the start of the journey with 20% of our British Wool collection coming from a transitional regenerative farm, located near Rye in East Sussex. Being a made in England brand, we wanted to start this journey by sourcing our regenerative wool from our own back garden to help mitigate carbon emissions and support local farmers.”
Working mostly with Italian textiles, Peterborough-based brand Marco Castelli makes footwear and clothing collections with high quality materials that have a lower impact on the environment. Its footwear range combines a formal, classic style and a contemporary touch, to create innovative designs that are based on eco-sustainable and zero waste principles. This fusion of two different styles reflects the brand’s bi-cultural roots, between Italy and the UK.
Tricker’s, the oldest established shoemaker in Britain, puts an emphasis on all aspects of sustainability. They said:
“The ingredients for a sustainable product should not only be harmless to the environment during production but ideally have a positive effect.”
From ecological, to economic and social sustainability, the brand has a conscious approach to create a better impact on the planet and people. To ensure good working conditions, they produce everything in Northampton with materials sourced in the county. They also employ local craftsmen and factory operatives.
To better protect the environment, crafted belts and leather goods brand Hardy & Parsons uses vegetable tanned bridle butt leather. This type of leather-processing offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional tanning methods. In addition, Hardy & Parsons hand-cut and stitch their products to reduce wastage. They said:
“Protecting the environment is absolutely essential in this era of climate change and pollution.”
Celebrating its 225th anniversary this year, Scottish brand Johnstons of Elgin is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. It has worked with biodegradable and renewable fibres, such as merino wool and cashmere, since 1797. The brand received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2021 for its work on sustainability. It is passionate about sustainable manufacturing throughout its supply chain from Mongolia to Scotland and aims to design and create products which last longer and biodegrade naturally at the end of their life cycle.
Yarmouth Oilskins, a factory brand known for its coastal workwear created in Great Yarmouth, works predominantly with UK textile companies and textiles. Its new outerwear collection, which will be shown for the first time at Pitti Uomo, has been made with 100% natural materials. The Yarmouth Oilskins team said:
“We look to the past to develop sustainability and innovation, in a lot of cases – opting for natural fabrics that do not leave waste and minimising the distance our components travel.“
This edition of Pitti Uomo guarantees to showcase a new era of menswear, that actively contributes to shaping the sustainable future of fashion. The UK companies attending the show are at the forefront of sustainability, traceability and ethical production in menswear.