Among the issues emerged, the urgency to adapt the textile and clothing supply-chain to sustainable and ethical parameters. “Z Generation”   is increasingly oriented towards conscious consumption.  “Z Generation” wants to buy beautiful objects with a  great story, but also with the guarantee of a sustainable production. A product in harmony with the need to clean up the environment from an ethical and ecological point of view, and safeguard the earth from pollution.

“The theme of eco-sustainability appears to be such a complex and gigantic concept that in some cases intimidates us”.

With that sentence,  Emanuele Farneti, director of Vogue Italy and The Man Vogue, made his debut as a moderator of the conference organized by the president of Milano Unica, Ercole Botto Poala, on the occasion of SPRING – SUMMER 2021 anticipation. The event, held at Fabrica Orobia on October 15th, saw the participation of Claudia D’Arpizio, Bain & Company Luxury goods & fashion partner; Giusy Ferrè, journalist, writer and fashion critic; Luca Sburlati, CEO Pattern Spa and the SPECIAL GUEST Rankin, Photographer, co-founder of Dazed and Confused and founder of Hanger.

Becoming sustainable is a challenge that concerns us all. Turbulence can be experienced negatively, becoming part of the problem, or positively, looking at it as an opportunity. Change brings motivation, and this is an inspiring moment of profound innovation and new scenarios. Dealing with the epochal change in progress involves a series of analyzes and hypotheses to be able to identify approaches that allow riding the wave of transformation in the medium-long term. Claudia D’Arpizio proposed an analysis of the “driving forces” (driving forces) that characterize the change:


For the first time in history, we find five generations of active consumers, with significant market shares. Without any doubt to the importance of young people – Millenials and Z Generation – even older people – Gen X; Baby Boomer; Silent Gen – are participants in consumption and active lifestyle, working and leisure time. Five generations in different phases of life, with consequent tastes and needs. Not only Western consumers but, on the contrary, who come from the former East emerging countries with considerable availability of capital.


The exponential development of technology has impacted on all five generations. If it doesn’t surprise the adoption of smartphones, tablets and the use of social media by young people, it is exciting to observe how digital has changed the way of relating and consuming of less young people. A study found that those over 70 spend most of their time online.


Within this generation, we identify several emerging sub-cultures that are becoming mainstream. For fashion, in particular, the C-Millenials (China) and the M-Millenials (Muslims) which constitute a considerable purchasing force. This capacity for massive spending with specific tastes implies the necessity of inclusiveness of these “emerging cultures” which must no longer be treated as minorities since they have become majorities for all purposes.


The environmental community is also a sub-culture that is becoming mainstream. Started by a few environmental activists, by vegans, by animalists, today it has become a global movement. Every day, we deforest a surface as large as Bangladesh, and we incinerate the equivalent of one and a half Empire State Building of clothing. If nothing is done, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, in terms of weight. Furthermore, 5 billion people will run out of water.


The fourth wave of feminism. The theme of diversity and inclusion of women is far from being resolved. Indeed, it is exacerbating both in the West and in other countries of the world. While women claim equality that is no longer an end in itself, but an equal role in all areas. Women have passed the “Body I have” moment,  trying to improve it and change it into something unreal. Today we talk about “The body I am”.  A body and a soul. Women have become more forgiving with their shapes and their scars. For the first time, this battle for fair opportunities includes men. It is a battle that we can win all together. An enormous business opportunity. A need not yet satisfied. There are brands that, thanks to the conversation established on that theme with their target market, are building empires. (See Houda beauty). A subject very much felt above all by Generation Z.


What if 60/70% of clothing sales took place online? Today it is around 20%. There are 4 million stores selling clothing in the world. It would mean the closure of 2-3 million clothing stores in the world, of all price ranges. What would our city centres, that are now social agora thanks also to the shops, become? The theme is also debated by architects who wonder what role cities will play if the role of shopping fails. Which is happening inexorably. The shops of the future will have to play a different purpose from the bare and raw sale. They will have to be an experiential point of contact with the consumer. We expect progressive automation of the “back of house” and humanization of the “front office”. Some brands are hiring store staff with humanistic formations that know how to entertain a cultural conversation with the customer.