MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli’s influence continues to expand beyond the borders of the fashion industry, as the entrepreneur was invited by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi to speak at the G20 Summit in Rome.
On Sunday, the second day of the international gathering organized by the heads of state and government of the world’s 20 largest economies and dedicated to the ever-pressing issues of the global environmental and climate emergency, the pandemic and measures to support global recovery, Cucinelli was in the Italian capital’s Convention Center — La Nuvola dell’Eur — for his speech.
He spoke at a side event that kicked off the day’s proceedings, dedicated to the “public-private cooperation for the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change,” and talked about human sustainability and humanistic capitalism — subjects that he has been addressing and championing for years. After President Draghi’s greetings, the other speakers included His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
With pride and some trepidation, Cucinelli had alluded to the commitment earlier in October, commenting on the 32.7 percent increase in sales in the first nine months of 2021 over a year earlier, and on Sunday he admitted the invitation and his speech were received “with great emotion.”
“Major issues were discussed, such as the fight against climate change, the pandemic and measures to support global recovery,” Cucinelli revealed. The topics discussed are “particularly dear” to Cucinelli, he said — subjects “to which I have dedicated and still passionately dedicate my work and my life. It was with honor and extraordinary emotion that I addressed those human beings to outline my dream of returning to believe in a new harmonious respect for the planet. In greeting and thanking them, I hope my heart suggested the right words for a request addressed to them, I like to believe, on behalf of the whole of mankind: ‘Oh my esteemed and powerful temporary guardians of Creation, you who are responsible for the beauty of the world, please show us the way to life. May Creation protect us and enlighten us towards a new universal Humanism’.”
This has been a busy week for Cucinelli, who on Thursday unveiled his next long-term project, the creation of a Universal Library in Solomeo, the medieval hamlet he has restored over the years. Solomeo, dubbed the “Hamlet of the Spirit,” also includes a theater, a winery with a vineyard, and the building of the Monument to the Dignity of Man. The library will be open to the public and carry books on five subjects: his beloved philosophy; architecture; literature, including poetry, and craftsmanship.
Upholding a new kind of capitalism, where “there is harmony between profit and giving back,” during the pandemic last year, he created a new label, “Brunello Cucinelli for Humanity.”
What he aimed to teach with the new label was a way for fashion brands to take what is unsold, out-of-season merchandise and, rather than mark it down to generate some revenues or ship it off to a discounter, instead simply give it away. Cucinelli’s new “Project in Support of Mankind” gifts garments that are still in stores, impacted by the lockdown. “We must work to make the path less arduous for the younger generation, those coming up after us. We must light up the path as lantern bearers of mankind,” he said at the time.
Also, last year, in an open letter, he pointed out that the pandemic highlighted the necessity to find a new balance with nature, to nourish diversity and exalt the power of culture.
Through the social contract he envisioned, the businessman and designer thinks we can guarantee future generations a safer, harmonious planet in which to live; an overall state of freedom; a welcoming world where diversity is seen as an opportunity; where civil life is considered a gift and technology and humanity are “lovable sisters.”
As reported, during the G-20 meeting, the members of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Taskforce, chaired by Federico Marchetti, have committed to immediately begin digitally identifying the products within their brands and adopting a circular data protocol — another sign brands are increasingly showing a united front. The technology uses data to inform customers of the sustainability credentials of their purchases and facilitate the delivery of circularity at scale.
The Digital ID was unveiled at the British ambassador’s residence in Rome as part of The Prince of Wales’ visit to the G-20.