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Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags opened the 92nd edition focusing on sustainability, with the opening talk "The sustainability of the fashion system supply chain".

The green commitment of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, the only Italian trade fair body with ISO 20121 certification for Sustainable Event Management Systems, has led the organizers to dedicate the opening moment of the event to sustainability and to how it is applied throughout the supply chain, from production to the final consumer.

According to Giovanni Laezza, Head of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, "Today, sustainability is a real opportunity to protect the planet, but it is also an indispensable tool for being competitive at an international level. In response to this market need, we are working together with our stakeholders to build a social ethic that, during the next editions of Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags, will lead us to consciously trace and manage all the waste produced during the event - aiming at having at least 85% of it recycled by 2020". 

Attention to sustainability is a value increasingly perceived as important by consumers. According to the study "Sustainability matters, but does it sell?" - created by McKinsey&Company in collaboration with the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera nazionale della moda italiana - CNMI) and presented during the third edition of the International Roundtable on Sustainability last March - 70% of consumers are willing to choose an eco-sustainable product instead of one with a greater environmental impact, spending 5% or 10% more. Due to this sales potential, multi-brand stores are - and will be - increasingly investing in green products.

Lars Doemer, Director and co-founder of GoBlu, an international service company and sustainability accelerator for companies in the fashion system, illustrated in his speech the strategic levers for companies that choose to take the path of a more ethical and environmentally friendly production. The key word is certainly transparency, understood not only as a commitment to provide information, but as an active process to grow your business through the knowledge and constant exchange of information with the network of suppliers and partners. It is therefore a coherent path of awareness that leads to a growth together with the supply chain, in the commitment to ensure a product that respects the environment and people, as some case studies illustrated by Doemer have already done. Thus, a kind of sustainability that is not only environmental, but also social and economic.

This choice is becoming more and more common and reported also by big luxury brands, as illustrated by Cinzia Malvini, lifestyle and fashion journalist at La7 and Book Moda, and moderator of the event.
A push that also comes "from below" through some examples of start-ups and small businesses that - thanks to social and e-commerce - are able to carry out interesting projects in the field of recycling and in the choice of environmentally friendly materials.

"Fashion is capable of intercepting changes and Gardabags, the Expo Riva Schuh project dedicated to bags and accessories, is a clear example - says Carla Costa, Head of the Exhibition Area at Riva del Garda Fierecongressi - In fact, almost all of the exhibitors are attentive to the subject, and this becomes even more significant when one considers that 39% of them come from outside Europe and from countries where the subject has only just begun to be dealt with”.

Thanks to the dialogue with Tiziano Guardini, fashion designer who won the Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer in 2017, the subject of design that is attentive to the ethical and sustainable aspect of fashion was also explored. A commitment that requires conscious and responsible decisions, especially in the delicate relationship between the design phase and industrial production.

Image At Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags, sustainability is a trend.
More and more brands are offering in their collections models with low environmental impact, featuring materials that are either natural or recycled. For footwear, organic cotton is preferred for uppers together with materials such as recycled rubber or natural rubber, resulting in 100% green choices of vegan footwear certified with eco-friendly dyes, and 100% recycled and recyclable packaging without substances harmful to health.

Talking about bags, the protagonists are rattan, straw, fabrics and inserts of natural elements such as stones and shells.

Through special environmentally friendly processing, some brands have transformed tropical plant species and local crops into products with finishes and colors with a sophisticated design, in the name of a more sustainable fashion that, however, retains style and a strong personality.

Riva del Garda

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