THE WASTE BECOMES RESOURCE, BUT THE SEARCH FOR BEAUTY ALWAYS REMAINS IN THE CENTER.
Dear Silvia, today we want to talk about Regenesi, can you tell us how it was born and what is its mission?
In 2008, after an experience as an employee and then as a consultant for structured companies in my area, I realized that what I really wanted was my own personal project. The inspiration then came during the bridge of May 1st, which I spent in Naples: the city was in full waste emergency and seeing the architectural beauties surrounded by mountains of garbage made me find the mission of my nascent enterprise: "transform waste into beauty".
This is how Regenesi was born, with the aim of creating high quality and totally Made in Italy lifestyle accessories. It does not focus only on the concepts of circular economy, ecology and sustainability, but aims to recover waste materials to create unique, beautiful and high quality products, each with a different story and path and everything to tell. With Regenesi, waste becomes a resource, but the research for beauty always remains at the center.
12 years have passed since Regenesi started the business by marrying the pioneering model of circular economy. Since then, things have changed a lot and today there is a great tendency to declare "sustainable". Can you give us an opinion on the concept of sustainability and circular economy?
A consultant told me recently that Regenesi is the first company that has never changed its vision in 12 years. Regenesi was born like this and continues so, we have not changed our ideas and our goals.
It is not a corporate project, it is the heart of the company. Being native also leads to being very authoritative in this, many events and organizations in fashion (in recent months White and Pitti Immagine) are inviting us to let their visitors know a recognized reality, true and serious, giving us the opportunity to show and sell our products to the top shops.
The positive aspect is that a lot of companies now talk about these topics because they are trendy, the negative aspect is that many try to make money by telling untrue things. Consequently, now more than ever, we need to make culture on this, because of 100 companies that claim to be sustainable, 30 maybe are really sustainable, for the rest this is just an instrumental communication. As in all things, when you see an international market opportunity, you always try to be part of it.
A coherence that today has become a precious corporate heritage available to Regenesi but also to numerous partner companies...
Exactly. Regenesi is a cognitive company, because it is the knowledge and skills that make the difference: the competence on materials, processes, eco-design, but also on creating partnership models. We are a network organization, so inevitably creating projects is part of us. One of the values that recognize us when we do co-branding is precisely what the partner companies find themselves in a project that we are committed to pursuing. Not only eco-sustainability therefore, but also to make things happen, from the conception of the project to the organization of the collections. On our side, it is essential to have the ability to understand what is necessary for the other to derive greater benefit from it. A balance between the creative act and the extreme organization, therefore having a method to apply, which we now are proud to call the Regenesi Method ©.
Last year has been particularly important and full of success for Regenesi, do you want to tell us about it?
Regenesi has received many awards since the first years of activity, but in fact the greater attention paid to the topic of sustainability in the last year has increased business opportunities and visibility opportunities. Already in 2010 the Triennale took us to Shanghai in an exhibition entitled "Tradition and Innovation" where we represented innovation; the Vatican Museums brought us to Rio de Janeiro with an exhibition entitled "Industry and safeguarding creation". In 2019 we won the ITWIIN (Italian Women Innovators and Inventors Network) award in the Capacity Building category and the "Best Performer of the circular economy" award, launched by Confindustria in partnership with Luiss Business School, 4.Manager and the support of Enel X. We then took part in very important events in the fashion sector, such as Pitti Uomo and WSM Fashion Reboot, and beyond: on January 6th, Cardinal Zuppi invited us to Bologna, where we talked about our commitment to safeguarding the environment. In fashion, we will start talking seriously about sustainability in the coming years: this new sensitivity will bring us new challenges and the opportunity to continue to grow up our business.
Do you think brands are somehow responsible for an overconsumption by proposing unsustainable models aimed at pushing the end consumer to buy more and more? Is there anyone who has already started to move towards a more sustainable model by inviting people to buy less?
I believe that the real Made in Italy brands have an advantage in this. In the early 2000s when Zara began to exist, beyond the crisis, this also created a series of problems in terms of logistics, since production models were proposed without seasonality. Those who have had the courage to maintain their positioning, their reasoning, their price, those who have managed to maintain integrity I think they have done well, since the concept of Made in Italy, of quality products with long life, are all concepts consistent with the reduced environmental impact. "Luxury cannot and must not be fast", because "luxury needs time to be achieved and appreciated" says Giorgio Armani in an open letter to WWD and I completely agree with him. The fact that there is really too much offer compared to the actual need is an important factor, which leads us to reflect, to slow down and reconnect with a more sustainable lifestyle and purchase.
What do you think will be the biggest challenges that the fashion sector will face in the future?
Definitely waste, which is a big problem in this sector. There is a need for every designer and every organization to change their approach to how they think, create and show their fashion collections. In a sector where being projected forward has always been important, this is the time to reinvent the processes of the fashion system, to leave the world of the ephemeral.
We also think about fashion shows and how many material and energy resources are used. Special events should be made for special occasions, and not as a routine.