• Sustainable Thinking Exhibition
12 April 2019


The exhibition Sustainable Thinking planned for April 2019 by the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo aims to offer food for thought on a theme that is highly important for the future, as well as to provide suggestions for a change in model, limited, in terms of research, to the world of fashion and art, the sectors this museum is specialized in.
Indeed, many artists have been looking in this direction for some time. Some of them have focused on restoring a more sensible relationship with nature, on the use of organic materials, on the need for the creative reuse of materials, so called ‘upcycling’, or on the relationship between nature and technology; others, on the importance of a collective commitment addressed to the regeneration of the social fabric as a whole.
The fashion industry, on its part, not only through the experimentation of a new generation of young designers, but also by means of innovative brands already consolidated on the market and situated in the luxury area, for several years now has been consciously facing the path of sustainability as a positive challenge capable of fulfilling needs, but also of offering new opportunities for responsible innovation to its sophisticated international clientele. This research is leading to the development of new high-performance ecological materials, and to the honing of productive processes aimed at reducing the consumption of water and energy, the use of toxic substances, and the production of waste, which is very high in this industrial sector. 

For the Salvatore Ferragamo brand, investing in sustainable development means believing that the use of innovative materials, the bond with the territory, the attention to the environment and to one’s own people are the basic elements for success. It represents the best way to respect the values conveyed by the Founder, starting from the 1920s, who made experimenting with natural and unusual materials and his customer’s physical and psychological well-being his philosophy. The exhibition thus falls within the multiple activities that place the Maison Ferragamo at the avant-garde among the luxury brands that have embraced transparency and ethics.

The Sustainable Thinking project does not seek to present an exhaustive acknowledgement of “sustainable practices”, but rather to put forward some of the most significant contemporary artistic experiences in this sense, together with, in dialogue and resonance, the main research underway in the field of sustainable fashion design and research into materials.
Materials, artworks, and clothing, both recent and/or specifically made for the occasion, will be on display, the purpose being to exemplify and articulate the multiple and essential forms of an “ethics and aesthetics of sustainability” in a format that will be easy to understand for the different types of audience. 
The artists and fashion designers invited – belonging to different generations and geographical areas – put forward a plurality of gazes that, notwithstanding their uniqueness, focus on alternative production processes, offering ideas for projects capable of valorizing differences, using new technologies without being submitted to them, declining the local with the global, safeguarding our ecosystem. 

A utopia? Perhaps, but a very realistic one, because it is necessary and urgent, which calls for the mobilization of more creative forces in every field, and more than ever that laboratory of creativity that are the artistic and aesthetic practices of everyday life, in which fashion also takes an active part, in the belief that they can be a crucial agent in shaping a fairer and more sustainable world. An invitation to care for the future starting from the present. 

Thanks to a scientific committee consisting of professionals with a vast knowledge of the issues related to sustainability, the project envisions an exhibition that involves not only the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo of Florence, but other prestigious venues in the city as well: the Museo del Novecento and Palazzo Vecchio, which, in addition to being the headquarters of the City Administration represents one of the most important artistic buildings in the capital of Tuscany.
A contest will be organized for the most prestigious international fashion schools, which will be asked to create sustainable collections for the opening of the exhibition. These will then be shown to the public.

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