Sustainable fashion and technology: the combination is possible with the new applications of CLASS., which launched the platforms Smart Tools, intended to facilitate the work of designers and fashion professionals even in times of smart-work and digitalization as he tells us Giusy Bettoni, CEO and founder of CLASS
Giusy Bettoni © Ph Dario Raimondi
How do the new tools work?
“CLASS since 2007 has always been considered ‘the right place’ for the search for new materials and particular innovations capable of triggering changes for a more sustainable and human future. In fashion, sustainable materials are only the tip of the iceberg. The sector it also requires production processes, technologies, business models … The new CLASS architecture, to meet the different and modern needs, has created an area called THE SMART TOOLS which includes applications, services and production technologies, but also new communication Here we find some indispensable tools to create a collection and also communication tools, because it is not enough to produce and innovate responsibly if you are unable to properly convey the values that you get. The new generation communication is an indispensable element and complementary that necessarily had to be an integral part of these tools W e:
THE MATERIAL HUB, which focuses on raw materials through the selection of natural or organic, transformable or innovative fabrics, ingredients and yarns by some of the most advanced companies in the world such as Bacx ™ by Centro Seta, Bemberg ™ by Asahi Kasei, Dyntex ®, Asahi Kasei’s Ecosensor ™, Imbotex, Italian Converter’s ECO Kosmos, Eastman Naia ™, Re.VerSo ™, Asahi Kasei’s ROICA ™ and TINTEX Textiles.
BACK IN THE LOOP, section dedicated to alternative and sustainable procurement from a circular economy perspective. The partners are: MAEBA International, leader in the research, selection and collection of the highest quality fabrics from leading textile brands and producers that makes them available for purchase, re-introducing them again into the fashion circuit and into the market.
MAEBA International is the first company of its kind at an international level to be accredited for the UNI EN ISO 14021 certification, which guarantees the traceability of the materials collected and Mending for Good, the consulting agency that offers ethical and creative solutions for brands in the luxury regarding topics such as waste emissions and excess inventory. Relocation of obsolete material is done through their network of high-quality craft projects linked to social cooperatives.
PROCESS X PROGRESS it concerns the single steps of the supply chain and focuses on the art of making fashion in a sustainable and unconventional way: from intelligent machine performances, to dyeing, to finishing and all possible applications and enhancements, from fields to distribution logistics. Partner of the Santoni section, the first Italian manufacturer of sock machines, famous for its responsible and functional engineering approach. His latest result? The X Machine, the first machine for seamless uppers – allows you to create almost entirely a shoe while ensuring high definition and color clarity without wasting material.
FUTURE DEVICES presents digital and futuristic tools to promote and communicate responsible fashion. Thanks to the partnership with the global digital company Sense-immaterial Reality it is possible to mix the physical and virtual photorealistic reality through a technology that allows you to visually replicate the textures and details of the fabrics. A very practical solution to “communicate” with extreme precision the quality of a fabric to someone who cannot be present in person. For the CLASS iCatalog app, the Sense-immaterial Reality team analyzed and digitally recreated the weight and drape of a selection of fabrics. Instead, WeArt has developed a wearable technology consisting of two devices: a tactile microphone, to record sensations such as temperature, pressure and texture of a surface, and a tactile speaker, to reproduce these sensations on a person’s skin. Thanks to these two tools, Weart allows for augmented experiences, adding, in the interactions at a distance, the sense of touch, in addition to those of sight and hearing “.
Who are they for?
“They are aimed at brands, designers and operators in the sector who want to take a path on materials, processes, and even communication, for the creation of” smart “collections (smart is a term very dear to CLASS: it must be taken in the broadest sense of the term therefore not only “intelligent” but also beautiful and innovative) of the new generation. A way to approach and give way to newcomers of all levels and students to be able to choose through new technologies “.
How can designers and creatives have access to technology to “feel” fabrics?
“The two technologies, that of Sense Immaterial Reality and WeArt, have been applied to our education initiative par excellence, namely the Smart Source, a source of educational and inspirational materials and the e-shop of fabric samples for students, designers and brands willing to discover, learn more and test some of the smartest and most sustainable fabrics. Smart Source is phygital, therefore both physical – with hotspot samples in Milan, London and New York – and digital, thanks to the CLASS iCatalog app ”.
What do you expect from the post-Covid period in terms of interest in a new sustainable fashion?
“The signs are very strong in the fashion industry which is moving towards an integration of ingredients, processes and above all values that speak very strongly to the contemporary consumer. A path that was already very concrete but which is now undergoing a strong acceleration. That’s why as a platform, in addition to the Smart Tools area, we have an area called Smart Academy which aims to share all the knowledge on sustainability. Sharing in this case is essential because there is no sustainability without knowledge! So we have created a rich program of events, conferences, lectures and services to educate, raise awareness and inspire professionals, producers, students and all those who strongly believe in sustainable values, master classes to cover the hottest and most interesting topics on responsible innovation, collaborations with international schools and a series of virtual conferences (Smart Voices) that bring together innovators, designers and brands, all sharing their cutting edge vision for a smarter future “.
If you were to give 3 suggestions to a young creative who wants to open a sustainable brand, what would you tell him / her?
“First of all I think this is an incredible time to work and create in the world of fashion. There have never been so many opportunities for change and creativity: from responsible technologies, to materials, to new business models (swap, vintage, upcycling, etc.). The latter meet the needs of the contemporary consumer that have never been so clear: beauty, innovation and responsibility must merge and responsibility must be told in an honest (read: measurable) and engaging way. being “ecological” is certainly neither motivating nor valuing for anyone.
The search for design must express the identity of the creative, an identity that today is expressed through the beauty (fundamental: a garment to encourage purchase must be beautiful), responsible innovation, therefore in step with the times at 360 °, transparency and traceability (knowledge of the “journey” that the collection makes, starting from the raw material to the suppliers, along the entire supply chain and its entire life cycle which also includes knowing exactly where and how this product “ends” and all its impacts on the environment and man).