STAND Up!: Sustainable wedding dresses, a fashion revolution in Italy led by Flavia Piendibene
“My mission is to start a revolution about wedding dresses, making them sustainable thanks to a made-to-order system and with the design, that allows modularity and reuse without aesthetic compromises”, Flavia Piendibene says. She is the founder and creator of Altoricamo – Armonia Project, which is one of the four fashion and textile start-ups receiving incubation support in Italy by the Prato Textile Museum, the Italian partner of STAND Up! project.
With a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Studies at Sapienza University of Rome and certifications in High Fashion Techniques at Koefia Fashion Academy of Rome, Flavia has long focused on the wedding dress production and the possibility of adding sustainability criteria in this fashion sector, facing both the problem of the many unsold dresses and their frequent disposal.
“It's really hard to talk about sustainability in the wedding dresses sector. Why? Because it’s not yet felt in the right way”, she confirms. “Sustainability must be perceived as that beautiful added value that guarantees aesthetics and quality, this is what I promote with my creations”, Flavia adds. Changing the perception of the word ‘sustainability’ is her biggest challenge within the sector.
To achieve this goal, Flavia has created Armonia project, an innovative, sustainable, modular and totally customisable collection for contemporary brides that combine the use of innovative certified and sustainable fabrics with Italian-made tailoring and craftsmanship. Dresses are made up of separate elements, making them reusable and timeless, unlike classic wedding dresses that are only used once. Therefore, the project is extending their life in accordance with sustainable consumption patterns.
"The path taken through the STAND Up! project is proving increasingly useful and valuable for the success of my start-up”, says the young female fashion designer. She started to be involved with the project through the training sessions, that helped her to think further about the optimal selection of materials, the management of waste, the end-of-life o garments and the distribution system. Now she is benefiting through the incubation phase from technical and support services.
Altoricamo - Armonia project is receiving additional prototyping services through the STAND Up! Growing Innovation Program, together with legal and business support to soon get ready to reach markets in the Mediterranean Area. “What I learned is that it’s essential to be well-organised and focused; take time to plan, think and explore all the hypotheses and be self-critical”, she says.
Within the ENI CBC Med Programme, STAND Up! is currently supporting more than 20 green ventures in the 5 territories involved in the project (Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia) through the Early-Stage Incubation path. In total, 3.6 million € are being mobilized to support entrepreneurs in the textile and fashion industry.