MILAN — Calzedonia is pressing on with its sustainable mission, laying down a number of eco-friendly initiatives.
The company has renewed its partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF, engaging in beach clean-up initiatives that kicked off last week with a company-wide session on Venice’s Lido.
“Over 300 employees took part in the cleaning session, removing plastics and microplastics from the beaches. However, in addition to the project’s positive impact on the environment, it also had an educational bent, raising awareness among our employees,” said Marcello Veronesi, Calzedonia’s brand leader and the son of parent company Calzedonia Group founder and chairman Sandro Veronesi.
The 2022 goal is to clean up around 32 million square feet throughout Italy by engaging employees and citizens in one or more of the 100 clean-up days the WWF organizes annually. Last year, Calzedonia helped the WWF clean up 120 Italian beaches, or 70 million square feet, more than doubling the original goal.
The executive underscored the positive impact such a move has had on customers and citizens, too, raising awareness on the pressing topic of climate change and environmental pollution.
A dedicated page on the WWF website allows anyone to apply and become a one-day volunteer during one of the clean-up days. Volunteers will be provided with gloves, a recycled cotton canvas bag and T-shirt bearing both entities’ logos. As a reward, Calzedonia will also offer a discount voucher.
Calzedonia customers will also be requested to support the WWF in monitoring and reporting on the state of the beaches’ pollution as part of a project called “Citizen Science.”
Since 2020, parent company Calzedonia Group has been issuing a sustainability report anticipating an Italian law that currently only requests public companies to do so. “Although the group is not listed, I believe we represent a significant contribution to Italy’s economic backbone and it was our duty to be transparent,” Veronesi offered.
Last year, the group managed to source 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources, avoiding 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. It also transitioned its use of regular paper and packaging to FSC-approved alternatives and pledged to plant 2 million trees to offset its footprint.
In 2019 the group joined the Fashion Pact and Veronesi said the group aims to meet higher sustainability standards by 2025 and become carbon neutral in the near future.
“Sustainability is an ongoing journey, it’s important to always be in tune with the times and ahead of them,” Veronesi noted.
To this end, the beachwear brand is testing the recycled waters, debuting this year two initiatives focused on swimwear and hosiery. Veronesi noted that the integrated supply chain, whereby 80 percent of manufacturing is carried out in-house is a great advantage and a step closer to achieving traceability credentials.
Starting May 13, all Calzedonia stores in Italy and a handful on international flagships in France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Poland will start collecting worn-in swimsuits from all brands, 50 percent of which the label expects to be able to turn into recycled yarns. The beachwear specialist has teamed up with Artus, a sustainable solution provider offering its facilities and services to companies aiming to implement circular fashion projects.
Eco-friendly swimwear currently represents 24 percent of the brand’s offering, but Veronesi said his aim is to grow that quota to 31 percent by the end of the year.
Come fall, the brand, which produces and sells around 70 million stockings yearly, will start a recycling pilot initiative on this front. Veronesi acknowledged the challenges in breathing new life in hosiery due to its mixed composition, which includes nylon, polyamide, elastane and more, but he anticipated that the brand will secure machinery that will bring recycling to an industrial scale.