The Italian wolf.

ETRO’S OPERATION WOLF: With the winged Pegasus stallion of Greek mythology as the brand’s symbol since 1968, it comes as no surprise that Etro is going to the rescue of endangered animal species and showing its commitment to combat the changes in nature and biodiversity.

To this end, the Italian luxury company is joining forces with the country’s WWF, donating funds for a number of wildlife conservation initiatives.

The first of such projects is aimed at safeguarding wolves and protecting the environments where the animal lives, as well as other species sharing the same lands. The wolf bears a historical meaning in Italy as it is linked with the legend of the founding of Rome by mythical twins Romulus and Remus.

“Today, more than ever, we are aware of how much the Earth is a unique and precious mother for us all, to be preserved and protected. In the past months, we observed, from our homes, many animals freely repopulating areas from which they had long been absent,” noted Kean Etro, men’s creative director of the house.

During lockdown, local newscasts showed images of animals taking over areas traditionally flooded with people, including a swan serenely swimming in a Venice canal.

“It is necessary to seek a harmonious balance and coexistence with the animal kingdom, remembering that as human beings we are part of it as well. The partnership with WWF Italy expresses our desire for an additional commitment towards nature,” added Veronica Etro, creative director of the women’s collections at the family-owned company.

WWF Italy has been actively protecting wolves since 1971 with the “Operation St. Francis” which prevented extinction, as recalled by Benedetta Flammini, the organization’s marketing and communication director. “WWF Italy is committed to defending an extraordinary animal that continues, even today, to be in danger. Thanks to Etro’s donation we will be able to continue and strengthen our work to defend one of our country’s symbolic species,” Flammini explained.

The initiative falls within Etro’s broader sustainability approach, which the two creative siblings have started tackling long before the subject was seriously taken into consideration by the international fashion system.

For instance, in his fall 2001 men’s collection for the house, Kean employed biological fabrics with a reduced environmental impact, while in 2015 he took part to the “Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015” exhibition at the LACMA, presenting a selection of pieces where fur was printed on fabrics highlighting the importance of eliminating animals from the fashion production chain. Marking last year’s World Ocean Day in June, the designer created a special down jacket crafted from the New Life Yarn, a made in Italy polyester thread obtained from recycled plastic bottles.

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