This Italian Brand Proves Just How Sustainable Luxury Fashion Can Be
Just a few days before Pat and Ana Cleveland opened Chiara Boni La Petite Robe’s spring show during New York Fashion Week, the designer got a citation that should have received more attention.
Her new capsule collection, which re-issues eight of the brand's most popular styles, became the first of its kind to receive the European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint Certification, or PEF, for its use of the sustainable fabric Eurojersey. Several major brands, from Gabriela Hearst to Gucci, made headlines this month for declaring their commitment to be carbon neutral companies.
Boni has been working with Eurojersey since the launch of La Petite Robe two years ago. In fact, she estimates that even though the capsule has received the certification, 85 percent of the entire collection is made using the same process and materials. The new line-up includes three dresses, one long gown, a jumpsuit, a pair of pants, and a shirt.
Being sustainable “is a choice we made—the recognition for it isn’t mandatory—it was something we feel is very important to achieve,” Boni said. The European Commission created PEF in 2013 with 16 sustainable requirements that companies must meet to be certified and an item’s environmental footprint must be totally traceable and measurable. For example, the Melania dress has the same footprint as about 17 pounds of pasta or three gallons of wine. Other La Petite Robe pieces might be similar, but adding something as simple as a collar or ruffle can make it difficult to accurately gauge the product’s impact, so they can’t receive certification yet (Boni says she has plans to expand the program).
In fact, comparing the clothing to pasta and wine, two Italian industries that have also made strides in promoting environmental responsibility, is as apt a metaphor as it is a playful comparison. Chiara Boni La Petite Robe is made in Italy and holds strong to its roots, with sustainable benefits: “The distance materials travel is close to zero, so our footprint is very small in that regard,” Boni points out. She also promotes ethics on the human level, “social responsibility is very important to us, we ensure our entire production is conscious and fair.”
The capsule will have special tags indicating which elements of the production were most notable in terms of the environmental impact, adding cache to the already coveted "Made in Italy" label.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors