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0 Miles Fashion: what does it mean and why it is a benefit for the crisis

What does 0 miles fashion means, sustainable fashion? And what does it mean for Rifò?

It means to produce all in Italy, with local artisans who work in the textile district of Prato, everything within a radius of 30 km from us.

Beside guaranteeing the quality of an artisanal and made in Italy product, this proximity allows us to have a human and continuous relationship with the artisans and their families, limiting the pollution that is due to logistics and transport.

Also, 0 mile fashion means for Rifò to be able to reduce waste, producing only what is necessary.

This model linked to the proximity and to the enhancement and recovery of production traditions, has happened to be a good option even in a time crossed by economic uncertainty and crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We always say that Rifò could not have existed if not in Prato. In this blog article, we explain why.

Prato textile district 

We were born in Prato, and we enjoy a privileged proximity to a basin of production that has few equals throughout Italy and Europe.

Facilities, knitting labs, accessories, special processes and making: everything a designer or product developer dreams of, you can find it in Prato.

If beside, we consider that the regeneration of fibers, in particular of wool, was born in Prato more than 100 years ago, the choice of planting Rifò in the fertile soil of the Prato industrial district becomes obvious.

fabbriche-veduta-prato

However, too often, all these mastery and skills risk to be and associated only with the production linked to the huge Chinese community of our city.

The textile sector in Prato is much more than this commonplace, it is an ancient and varied industrial tradition that has represented and continues to represent an avant-garde of the sector.

At the same time Chinese companies with time joined this industrial fabric, adapting themselves to the existing standards and creating companies with quality productions.

Proximity as an economic model

An idea we care a lot about that characterizes Rifò project is proximity, a concept we want to apply to the 0 miles garment production model.

Being close to the craftmen allows us to follow every step of the production step by step, knowing exactly how a garment is made and what impact it has on the environment.

This also helps us in the design phase, because it allows us to take into account the limits of each product and his pollution footprint.

balle-cenci-prato

The production process sometimes becomes also co-creation thanks to the knowledge of the artisans, listening to them  being an idea to a real object.

But not only: thanks to the small productions close to which we rely, we are able to afford to produce almost in real time, really listening to the market and its needs.

We have translated this fantastic opportunity into a system: the presale.

Flexibility and small productions

confezione-cartamodello-giacca-rifo

So what is the difference from Rifò and another sustainable fashion brand?

The possibility that this proximity gives us to pre-sell products. That means launching a garment before it is even produced, in order to produce only what the market actually requires, based on the demands received.

For Rifò this means leaving the classical logic of the fashion system.

The proximity to the producers allows us to place an order to our suppliers the week before for the week after. If our suppliers were located in China or Portugal this would simply not be possible.

The big fashion brands, in addition of relocating their productions in distant countries, they must respect the times of the clothing industry that are dictated by events, fairs and seasonal collections.

Local production as an ally to overcome the crisis

When the economic uncertainty due to Covid-19 arrived a few months ago, although frightened, we thought we were very lucky to work with such close suppliers.

This made us feel stronger. We were together and we were all sharing the same fears.

Also in this case the advantage of a 0 miles production was priceless compared to a dislocated production model.

Specifically, being able to count on small productions, which do not require very long programming times, has allowed us even more to be flexible with respect to the uncertainties of the market.

In our opinion at Rifò it is in this direction that a more sustainable fashion industry must go. Producing little, objects with a history and a meaning, with not too distant time horizons to risk less and not waste.

Together with this it is important to streamline the production chains that exist today, trying to get out of the logic of seasonal collections that impose a timing to the creators.

Put creativity in motion, play, rediscover, recover, talk to the artisans. They are all pillars of a more sustainable 0 km fashion.

We at Rifò believe in it, and you?

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