INTERVIEW WITH ALESSIA RIGHI AMANTE FROM GUIDI
How did this whole recycled project start at the first point? Please tell us the first moment when GUIDI company noticed the importance of saving our planet. Were there any "bad" pro-cesses in the past?
We have reflected over the changes of our time and of our planet, discussed how we could be in-volved in projects aimed at saving energy and promoting ethical practices in the fashion industry, and decided to contribute. Change is still possible and we want do our part to protect the planet. No bad processes in the past as this was the first time we undertook this path.
How long did it take to invent all these new materials?
We actually did not invent anything: the ECONYL was invented by the Italian Company Aquafil which thanks to this invention, obtained the GRS-Global Recycled Standard certification in 2017. While the shoes are constructed with the “left-overs” of the leather used for our regular production.
How did you research on finding new sustainable fabrics? How did you reach out to Aquafil at the end? How different are they from other fabrics?
While searching for the best companies working on sustainable materials, we contacted Aquafil through Limonta, an Italian textile company with which we have been working for the last three years. Aquafil’s ECONYL differs from other fabrics simply for its high quality, which is extremely im-portant for us.
Lots of people read the word "GUIDI" as "leather". Please tell us the big difference between normal leather and recycled leather, and also the reason behind patch-worked designs with lots of studded pieces.
Since leather is not an eco-sustainable material in itself, we have decided to extend its life to the maximum by developing a shoe with a 100% up-cycled upper, constructed combining the scraps of leather obtained at the end of the regular production cycle of the shoes themselves.
Please tell us about the leather treatment in this new recycled leather.
Once manufactured, the shoes are then barrel dyed, thus acquiring that unique look that distin-guishes our entire collection. Also, the chosen sole is Vibram N-OIL, created with 90% natural com-ponents and recycled rubber, its color is given thanks to the use of natural pigments gained from plants and biological agricultural by-products.
Please tell us more about left-over leathers. Are the different leathers mixed? Or is there any specific type of leather selected for a reason?
The patch-work created with the leather’s left overs, are all coming from the same type of leather, mainly because of the different texture each type of leather has. Also, each type of these leathers absorb the color differently, so in order to keep the shoes as homogenous as possible color-wise, we needed to stick to only one type of leather.
Leather is not an eco-sustainable material, but you can wear and use leather products for long years on the other hand. Leather products will give wearers to enjoy aging-process too. What do you think about this?
We focus highly on the production processes and product quality. So from an eco-sustainable point of view, as GUIDI’s products are made with such high quality, they are strong and durable, made to last over time. Also, we use leathers derived from farm animals, which would otherwise be discard-ed.
What is Econyl?
Econyl is a regenerated nylon thread conceived by the, previously mentioned, Aquafil company. This thread allows you to create yarns without using new resources.
Also, KAPOK, which is a natural vegetable fiber, is used for the padding of the bags.
This bag series look very functional with detachable small pouches. Please tell us more about these designs.
The capsule collection, is extremely practical: shoulder bags, crossbody and backpacks with divida-ble e detachable compartments, that are perfect day-to-day pieces, light in weight, linear and com-fortable. Also, for the first time, the GUIDI logo is embossed on the leather flat handle, which adds a sophisticated look to these funky pieces.
All the items are finished strictly in black and white colors. Can we expect more colors in the near future? Or is it not easy to produce with these new materials?
Black and white are the two non-colors which have reflected our brand’s image throughout the years. This said, every season we do experiment diverse dying technics along with various shades of dif-ferent colors, as you can see from our collections, season after season. We will see what the future will bring!
Why did black and white colors become GUIDI's iconic colors? Is there any specific reason or philosophy behind?
In general, black and white are the two colors sold the most, not only for us, especially regarding boots and sneakers. Plus, initially our clients came from a particular type of world, which was con-ceptual and minimal. Throughout the years they became iconic, along with their color coding - BLKT for black / CO00T for white.
Is there any other sustainable way of production that GUIDI is trying at the moment?
We are trying to find a system that allows our production cycle to be more sustainable, therefore more from the point of view of the production rather than of the product itself.
Is there any person or company that GUIDI respects and follows its sustainability philoso-phy?
There are many aspects and realities that we follow and respect in the field of sustainability. For ex-ample, we can mention a small biodynamic wine producer that we happened to visit some time ago during a trip to the hills of central Italy. The name of the wine is ORSI, San Vito vineyard. We found many affinities between the philosophy of Federico, ORSI landlord and natural wine producer, and our working method.
Is there any sustainability action that we could find in packages, tags etc?
We are also working on how to develop a more eco friendly packaging, but it won’t be something happening from day to night. At the moment we have other priorities, for example, as mentioned pre-viously, involving the production processes.
Will you use all these new fabrics for any upcoming collaboration projects too?
Definitively. We are constantly researching new materials and fabrics on the market, as well as for new interesting collaborations and production methods. You will be able to see this in the near fu-ture.
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