Lucy+Jorge Orta "Life Guard - Amazonia" 2016

MILANSalvatore Ferragamo on Thursday inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to sustainability.

Hosted at Florence’s Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, the exhibit, called “Sustainable Thinking,” explores the theme by creating a path that connects Ferragamo’s pioneering use of eco-friendly materials with today’s most innovative experimentation.

Conceived by Salvatore Ferragamo Museum and Ferragamo Foundation director Stefania Ricci, in collaboration with sustainable textile expert Giusy Bettoni, art critic and curator Arabella S. Natalini, Vogue Talents director Sara Sozzani Maino and designer Marina Spadafora, the exhibit collects a range of contemporary artworks related to the theme of sustainability, which are juxtaposed to experimental fashion and textile projects.

Involving artists, fashion designers, as well as yarn and fabrics manufacturers, the exhibit includes 10 sections. While the first enables the public to get specific information and numbers about the sustainable revolution impacting the production of fashion items, the second puts the focus on Ferragamo’s passion for material experimentation, which defined his career from the early steps in the United States in the Twenties. The designer was actually the first to introduce in the fashion world unusual materials, such as bark, raffia, fish skin and cellophane.

Called “Transformation,” the third section showcases garments, artworks and materials, which are created through the recovery of waste products. Among the fashion items, there are creations by Christopher Raeburn, Bethany Williams, Maria Sole Ferragamo and Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Paul Andrew.

Focusing on the link between local craftsmanship and ethical fashion, the fourth section unveils dresses and accessories created by international designers and brands, including Stella Jean, Katie Jones, Progetto Quid, Studio 189 and Andrea Verdura, who share an attention for social responsibility. Social and technical innovations, along with diversity, are the main themes explored in the following sections, which culminate with a focus on those artists and designers, such as Maria Cornejo and Tiziano Guardini, who are bringing back artisanal techniques.

Re-edition of Salvatore Ferragamo's Joker sandal dating back to 1936

Re-edition of Salvatore Ferragamo’s Joker sandal dating back to 1936.  Courtesy Photo

Celebrating his founder’s avant-garde and sustainable material experimentation, Ferragamo created a capsule featuring five re-editions of signature styles designed by Ferragamo between the Thirties and the Fifties.

In conjunction with “Sustainable Thinking”, open at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo until March 8, 2020, two additional sections of the exhibition, curated by Sergio Risaliti, will be available at two of Florence’s key cultural hubs, including Palazzo Vecchio and Museo del Novecento.

The “Sustainable Thinking” exhibition highlights the Ferragamo company’s attention to sustainability. In 2014, the fashion house created an in-house Green Team focused on the development of eco-friendly activities and in 2016 first certified its group sustainability report. In addition, in 2017 the company launched a three-year Sustainability Plan, which included significant investments to reduce the impact of its manufacturing activities. Last year, Ferragamo obtained certifications and also joined the United Nation’s Global Compact, a voluntary initiative based on chief executive officer commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support U.N. goals.

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