It takes 23,000 litres of water to make a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “Not many people are aware of what is behind the production, how much it takes to make a pair of jeans,” says Alberto Candiani, chief executive of Candiani Denim. “But I am perfectly aware that we can make it way more efficient.”
The fashion industry has a reputation for being environmentally unfriendly, but Candiani Denim – an Intesa Sanpaolo customer that supplies the popular material for numerous high-end brands – describes itself as the “greenest company in the blue world”. Candiani works to make its denim kinder to the environment in part by using eco-friendly threads such as Lyocell, which is a fibre made from wood pulp. Lyocell is more expensive than traditional cotton, but for Alberto Candiani, it helps his company provide the right product both for the customer and the environment.
Fashioning a sustainable future
In 2015, the production of clothing contributed more greenhouse gases to the environment than all international flights and shipping combined. We discover the Italian denim company working to high green standards and hear about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s commitment to helping the fashion industry clean up its act.
“Circularity is the only way to keep going. I’m afraid capitalism will fail without circularity”
“In 2015, the production of clothing contributed 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions to the environment.
That’s more than all international flights and shipping combined, so there is a huge challenge in where to start”
“We see that by 2023 the rental model for clothes and accessories will double.
We think that this will be a real opportunity for companies, both simple rental and rental with subscription.
We see many start-ups in this area that can offer open innovation in the fashion industry”
Anna Monticelli, circular economy desk lead at Intesa Sanpaolo’s Innovation Center, spearheads the running of the bank’s €5 billion circular economy credit facility. She believes the fashion industry is one of the most interesting sectors to support in its transformation. “We see that by 2023 the rental model for clothes and accessories will double. We think that this will be a real opportunity for companies, both simple rental and rental with subscription. We see many start-ups in this area that can offer open innovation in the fashion industry,” she says, noting that while many companies understand the paradigm of the circular economy, not many are ready to start investing and changing their business models. “It’s a journey,” adds Monticelli.
For Alberto Candiani, moving to circular economic methods is a no-brainer. “Circularity is the only way to keep going. I’m afraid capitalism will fail without circularity.”
Last updated 3 November 2021