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James Ferragamo
Director of Women’s Leather Goods, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Read More ...
Gel Egger Ceccarelli
Material Research and Development Coordinator, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Read More ...
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Introducing Tonight´s Dialogue
La Pietra Dialogues Green Fashion Committee Read More ...
An Interview with James Ferragamo
Monica Warek, NYU Florence student Read More ...
 
 
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After months of planning and organizing, on Wednesday, February 22nd, the La Pietra Dialogues Student Committee launched its ‘Green is the New Black: A Dialogue on Green Fashion’ initiative at Villa La Pietra with James Ferragamo and Gel Egger Ceccarelli from Salvatore Ferragamo SpA. Students began working on putting together this Dialogue in December: they organized meetings to design posters to get the word out, created mannequins out of olive tree branches to decorate the room where the Dialogue took place, made endless phone calls and sent numerous e-mails to make sure everyone was on the same page, and developed the idea into a successful discussion on what green fashion is, how it started and where it is headed in the future.

James Ferragamo, one of the speakers, began in the shoe department of his grandfather Salvatore Ferragamo’s business. He was interested in the potential to adopt environmentally friendly methods and materials in the fashion industry and became the first to design a Ferragamo line that used biodegradable materials and non-pollutant chemicals on their leather. Ms. Cerccarelli, who is currently the Material Research and Development Coordinator at Salvatore Ferragamo, and has been with the company for over thirty years, joined Mr. Ferragamo for the Dialogue.

The Dialogue kicked off with a short introduction, followed by a description of the slowly developing and innovative world of Green Fashion from James Ferragamo. He stressed the importance of creating new regulations on companies to utilize eco-friendly materials and processes. However, Mr. Ferragamo quickly turned the microphone over to Ms. Cerccarelli to explain in depth the old and new developments in Green Fashion and the fabrics that the Ferragamo company are beginning to use in their lines.

Among the most fascinating materials mentioned, in a list of over fifteen different fabrics, were: Crabyon Fabric, a bi-product of crabs from the food industry used to create natural fibers that have a strong hold and are anti-bacterial; bark, which is transformed into fabric through a process of stripping, boiling, scrubbing, drying, splitting, rolling, and dying with natural and chemical pigments; and even a material called Nanostone, which is made from slate and can be used to make practically anything, including belts and handbags.

In addition to new, innovative, and eco-friendly materials to work with, Ms. Cerccarelli also stressed the importance of minimizing the carbon footprint of clothing companies and the amount of water and chemicals used while creating their products. In a segment about wet white tanned leather, Gel explained that a new method uses 6000 liters less water, 5 fewer chemicals, 5 or 6 fewer controls, has no added salt and takes about eight hours less running time to create 16,000 hides. Since a plethora of countries around the world are facing water shortages and water scarcity, and about a fifth of a pound of pesticides goes into making a single cotton t-shirt, minimizing the amount of pollution that is put into water and air, and the overall amount of water used, is a vital contribution of eco-friendly products.

After the presentation the floor was opened for questions, most of which revolved around the basic idea of how businesses can make the transformations necessary to become eco-friendly and what developments can contribute to catalyzing the process.

James Ferragamo made it simple. “Research is the key,” he said. The better the research, the better the product, the more willing a consumer will be to buy it. He also stressed that the government needs to take action as well and place restrictions on businesses in order to speed up the process. If everyone is required to get new machines and to build new infrastructures, then everyone will find the money to do so.

The main goal is to find a way to implement eco-friendly methods and products into businesses in order to protect the environment, maintain the quality of the product, influence the consumer to buy into and support eco-friendly efforts, and make advancements in research in order to make everything else possible.

Report by Stephanie Rachele Peterson, NYU Student

 
 
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Program
 

5:45p.m. Welcome of Mr. Ferragamo and Ms. Ceccarelli
 Abdul Haq, Joy Ip and Olivia Weiss, NYU Students

6:00 p.m. Introduction
Jonathan Hunter and Tara Tosten, NYU Students

6:10 p.m. Presentation: Green Fashion
James Ferragamo and Gel Egger Ceccerelli, Salvatore Ferragamo SpA

6:45 p.m. Q & A with audience
Moderators: Caitlin Ryan and Monica Warek, NYU Students

7:30 p.m. Reception

 
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A Special Thanks to Nick Dakin-Elliot and the Villa la Pietra Gardners for their help decorating for the event
 
 
 
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