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Green Is The New Black

In an industry where ‘greenwashing’ is becoming ubiquitous, luxury menswear brand Zegna is a genuine pioneer of a more sustainable fashion industry.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the world’s most polluting: synonymous with excessive waste, chemical use, carbon emissions, and more.

Every second the equivalent of one garbage truck of discarded clothing is burned or landfilled, according to research published by Dame Ellen MacArthur’s Foundation last year, while the recycling of clothing material back into new clothes is less than one percent. The textile industry is the second-biggest polluter of clean water and it causes up to 20 percent of industrial water pollution.

But some brands are genuinely committed to embracing change, and luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna is one.


Last year it launched its #USETHEEXISTING campaign as part of the Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Winter 2019 show, which proved so successful it has been extended to the Summer 2020 show.

Under creative director Alessandro Sartori’s artistic prowess, the campaign marks the brand’s pledge to improve the usage of wool and technical fabrics from pre-existing sources using innovative processes and recycling specific materials such as plastic bottles and bamboo fibres.

“Since the very beginning, our family business has been driven by a sustainable approach and a long-standing commitment towards the environment and the community, says Ermenegildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna Group, in a statement. Zegna, now it its 110th year, continues to be family-run and is now led by the third generation: Gildo as CEO, Paolo as Chairman, and Anna as President of Fondazione Zegna.

“Zegna’s global mission is deeply rooted in the pioneering vision of the founder Ermenegildo, who firstly understood the importance to develop the brand respecting nature and enhancing sustainable projects. With the #USETHEEXISTING project Zegna is today reinforcing its pledge in the sustainable journey which has been in place since 1910.”

Alessandro Sartori adds: “#USETHEEXISTING…represents the idea to work on the upcycle of the whole fashion process. At Zegna we are working on new generations of sources valuing recycling as a new path to not waste any single material of the production chain. It’s a mission and vision that we are fully investing in. This is the principle behind the last collections and the future ones”, he affirms.

The commitment was honoured at last year’s glittering Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Milan, the third edition of the ceremony held at the iconic Teatro alla Scalla. Zegna was given the CNMI Award in Recognition for Sustainability, for its long-standing commitment toward developing a more sustainable journey within the fashion system.

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