Generally speaking, choosing eco-friendly clothes is still an occasional behaviour rather than a constant habit. How can we learn to take more informed choices?
Mauro: In our daily life, we have to commit ourselves to pollute as little as possible. At the level of mass production and consumption, particularly in fashion, it’s not possible to produce a lot and pollute a little, with rare exceptions. So, everyone should buy from small semi-handcrafted brands, instead of multinational retail giants. At the same time, small brands should be able to remain sustainable over time and cost significantly less. In any case, if you buy high quality clothing – like Vitelli’s – you buy less products, that’ll last you longer. Buying less and better can make things work.
Giulia: Going off what Mauro said, in order to help the consumer to choose semi-artisanal brands focused on sustainability, we also have to work on the image of the product itself. Unfortunately, sustainability is often connected with an uninspired imagery, with dark autumnal colours and rough workmanship. I’m not surprised that few people choose an aesthetic of this kind. However, if the awareness of wanting to invest in a green product arises, then we have to provide the consumer with garments that are innovative and in line with the times. This is what we’ve tried to do with Doomboh.
Production takes place in Schio, Veneto – the natural habitat of Italian knitwear since the 19th century. Do you feel a sort of responsibility towards such a legacy? What’s your relationship with local people?
Mauro: The responsibility we feel towards this legacy is the very reason why, since our first season, we’ve always and only worked in the Vicentino district and, in particular, in Schio. The idea of building a bridge between us, the creative scene we’re a part of and a network of small workshops, weavers and embroiderers was and still is the main goal of Vitelli as a brand and as a proper Made in Italy project. We never wanted to use the Venetian producers, but instead collaborate with them by confronting these producers and learning from their craft.
Giulia: I agree with Mauro’s words, only through their collaboration we’re able to fully express ourselves.
‘Less waste, more cosmic’. In Vitelli’s DNA, a sustainable philosophy is blended with the 1980’s Italian cosmic movement. Why are you so fascinated by that decade?
Mauro: In terms of style and pop culture, the ‘Cosmici’ or ‘Baiosi’ was the penultimate Italian youth movement of the 80’s. The very last was the ‘Paninari’, which was against the ‘Cosmici’. The etymology itself of the two words explains our position. Both Giulia and I are more of a ‘cosmos’ than a ‘panino’ type (‘panino’ is the Italian for ‘sandwich’, E.D.). Apart from this, I believe the ‘Cosmici’ and their way of mixing with vitality and attitude the many styles that preceded them in the 70’s remain a valid portrait of Italians. Focusing on it, season after season, allows us to work on the Italian style, obviously in our own way and keeping an open discussion.