All talk no action, aside from Italy: “Is sustainability just a hoax?” wonders Claudio Marenzi

The issue has been triggered by an international event, “Decoded Fashion”, held in Milan on November 14-15, which was organized by, the digital platform of Florence fashion review. The aim of this international meeting, on its fifth edition, is “to connect the fashion industry with digital disruptive minds”. Claudio Marenzi, President of Pitti Immagine and former chairman at SMI (he has been replaced by Marino Vago, owner of the Lombard brand), took part in the summit. In his speech, which was most relevant, amongst the several ones, he emphasized some concepts such as product and process innovation, along with the importance of communication, which is supposed to be appropriate, logical and detailed. Most of all, he focused his speech on sustainability, which is a key topic that has required over the last years sensible attention and assessment. “Our industrial system – said Marenzi – is the best in the world with regard to fashion, since we have to abide by very strict rules, though final consumers, who are apparently more and more interested in the subject, are not fully aware of that. In other words, and this is my major concern, we can’t take advantage of sustainability merely for marketing reasons, that might possibly mislead and deceive customers and their expectations”. In addition to that, Marenzi stressed the fact that sustainability is far often just a wordplay or a commercial operation rather than a valuable principle that our industrial and artisanal manufacturing should take into consideration. Not to mention its costs (not only the financial ones), mostly charged on suppliers (tanning industry is well aware of that…): “According to a recent survey, over the last 10 years companies have been cutting costs remarkably, while they have been most investing in marketing, communication and retail: looks like sustainability is just a hoax to some extent”.


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