There is a thread that has long linked Tollegno 1900 to the Politecnico of Milan and that speaks the language of collaboration in developing knitdesign project. A partnership that is also renewed on the occasion of “Feel the Green: Behind the stage” initiative organized by Consorzio Promozione Filati – CPF in simultaneously with the Milan Fashion Week on 23 and 24 February 2023. On the occasion of the event, aimed at putting the lens on the entire knitwear supply chain, Tollegno 1900 provided the students of the Knit Design Laboratory of the University of Milan with some of its yarns – New Royal 4.0 and Woolcot – to be used to create a collection consistent with the theme of the first edition of the initiative: the sustainability. A strong common and actual trend also confirmed by the Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Knit Design Laboratory Giovanni Maria Conti who recalls: “knitting is sustainable by nature, as well as being one of the few that can be disassembled and reassembled starting from a yarn. However, it must be remembered that sustainability is not only care and attention to preserve the environment, to develop virtuous economic models and implement social attention respectful of the habitat, but also dissemination of a social culture understood as quality education.” Quality that is also the leitmotiv of the project “Feel The Green: Behind The Stage” of which the Knit Design Research group of the Design Department of Politecnico of Milan is scientific partner.
What is the encoding of your participation in the event and the collaboration signed with CPF?
During “Feel The Green: Behind the Stage” we will present some of the results of the Con_Text Research (www.context.polimi.it) , funded with the University’s FARB funds, whose aim is to connect young talent trained in knitwear with Italian manufacturing companies. Companies that represent excellence in the search for yarns and products with a high rate of quality. But not only that, thanks to the collaboration with the students of the Knitwear Design Laboratory of the Fashion Design Course, we will showcase a series of textile proposal giving life to a collection of physical experiments that will be made with the yarns supplied by the main Italian spinning mills. Promoting the supply chain since its basic element, the yarn, is one of the objective.
Who will be involved in the project and what is the modus operandi?
The Knit Design Research Group and the ImagisLab of Design Department conducted the research Con_text which aimed to define a system of physical and digital relationship (digital ecosystem) functional to create an awareness path for companies called to have a leading role in creating a solid student-company bond. The ultimate intent is the development of a “showcase of talents” available to companies that can have a photograph of typical profiles with specific characteristics from which to draw. In the round table that will be dedicated, during the initiative, to the pillar “People” we will also invite participants to reflect on the strategic role that today represents the manufacture of excellence within the contemporary Made in Italy.
What do you think is the importance of initiatives of this caliber?
An initiative of this type is necessary, if not urgent, to promote, rediscover, and present a sector that is recognized as “excellence” abroad, but which is very little considered by young Italians. A discrepancy linked to different motivations starting from a “vacuum” dependent on the knitwear manufacturing industry itself as a “place of creative fascination”. The latter concept is very important to ensure that the charm and wonder that are hidden behind the creation of a yarn can emerge.
How can we intervene to promote creative fascination?
I think it is important to “to go back to the origins” and explain to young people that “Italian fashion” is a complex of manufacturing realities that build together a value chain that it is probably unique in the world. A flow from which comes to life a product that is the true representation of Italian excellence. Faced with the paradigm of radical change of the Fashion System I believe that telling and promoting oneself, without vain glory but with authenticity, is very important for the future.
Sustainability is the theme of the project. Tollegno 1900 responded to the call by providing its New Royal 4.0 and Woolcot bio yarns: what makes them consistent with the focus of the event?
These two yarns are the result of the company’s research process, and in addition to representing the excellence of its “know-how”, also decline its respect for the entire supply chain: respect for animals, and growers, attention to the energy, and consumption, care of resources in processing. New Royal 4.0 and Woolcot are therefore the sublimation of all that process that hides behind the scenes.
In addition to the initiative promoted by Consorzio Promozione Filati, are you working on any other project?
I believe and hope that this is the first of a series of events in which we and CPF can collaborate to promote the knitwear sector which is not only specific field of research, but also an industrial sector that can be a driving force for Italy.