Vocative is an Italian 100% sustainable fashion brand, the perfect combination of tradition and innovation, without sacrificing style. We find tradition in the decision to rely on the hands of expert tailors, while innovation, on the other hand, lies in the desire to make eco-sustainable and traceable garments. This result was only possible thanks to the commitment of the two partners: Ciro Pistarino and Manuel Zanola. Vocative is synonymous with sustainability and awareness in a world, such as that of high fashion, which is constantly under the microscope due to the amount of waste it generates.
Vocative stands out for the decision not to produce in series, giving up the industrial chain. Each garment is tailor-made by Italian master tailors with 100% eco-sustainable materials. And when we say 100% we are very serious. Vocative is able to guarantee the use of conscious fabrics selected from the Italian excellence and dyed naturally, without the use of chemicals or pollutants. The buttons are made without implementing fibers of animal origin and are utterly sustainable. Finally, hangers and packaging are born with recycling in their DNA.
But now let’s leave the word to those in charge… We had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with one of the two main figures of Vocative, Ciro Pistarino, to ask him about this project, hoping that many other realities will be inspired by his journey.
Innovative Tradition an oxymoron that, thanks to Vocative, has become a reality, how did you manage it?
Ciro Pistarino: «In our case these two terms are absolutely complementary. Tradition translates into the design of the garments that represent the best Italian haute couture, Made in Italy, craftsmanship and workmanship. On the other hand, innovation lies precisely in the raw material we use, in the quality of the fabrics which, in addition to being the most sustainable on the market, are produced by companies that are part of the historical structure of the sector, such as Vitale Barberis Canonico. Sustainability for them is not a fashion, a trend to ride because the market demands it, but it is something much deeper and rooted in the corporate culture and in the values handed down from generation to generation. Furthermore, another aspect that makes our garments sustainable is the classic style, obviously adapted to today’s standards, which is eternal».
Has technology helped you reduce your environmental impact?
Ciro Pistarino: «Yes, being sustainable today means being innovative in all production processes. The production of colored wool, for example, is extremely polluting… Therefore, being able to obtain a result which is identical to the traditional one, but implementing sustainable wool, using natural colors with particular processes (or even not using color at all, exploiting the natural fleece of the animal) is synonymous with innovation. Technology was also key to making customers more conscious about these issues.
Each garment is equipped with an electronic seal connected to Blockchain technologies capable of identifying each product and guaranteeing that each component of the garment (fabric, thread, buttons, linings, etc.) is part of a completely sustainable supply chain. Thanks to the Vocative app it is possible to view the entire production cycle and prove its sustainability: origin and composition of the materials used, where it was processed and the evidence of all the compensations adopted for the parts of the process that need them, such as transport example».
Is sustainability a luxury?
Ciro Pistarino: «To date, unfortunately, it is still a luxury because the cost of supply and raw material is actually higher than the average».
Why is it so difficult to be sustainable in Italy?
Ciro Pistarino: «It is definitely more expensive and, moreover, we Italians do not have the awareness that people from other countries have… Even Asia, which pollutes a lot, boasts a generation of people sensitive to the issue of sustainability. This concept works best abroad for now, however it is not a crime to believe that a change in buyers’ mindset is possible. In any case, it’s safe to say that the real potential is abroad».
Many people would like to buy sustainably but are held back by the price. Has the tendency to buy quality products been lost?
Ciro Pistarino: «Many people don’t know that, for example, the dyeing of wool is one of the most polluting processes in this sector: the use of water is huge. Even the most performing wool mills, which have the possibility of recovering water, only get consume less than half of it.
Our pieces are expensive because we have put the best components together into a product that has a very high intrinsic cost. We boast a nearly zero km production: the wool mills and the various producers are all within 50 km. The price is high because, basically, it is a tailor-made garment».
What would you suggest to somebody who wants to start this type of business?
Ciro Pistarino: «As an entrepreneur, I would advise him not to do so (laughter). Of course, costs must be covered, but it is a choice that must be made with the heart. As a well-started tailor, at a certain point I felt this need to do something to change things my own way. It is a spontaneous imperative, it must come from each of us. Working life, of course, has influenced my private life, I began to pay much more attention to everything: mobility, lights in the house and water. Just study, the planet is asking us to change».
I would like to emphasize that it is not always easy to guarantee 100% sustainability, this is another crucial issue. Shipment, for example, cannot be fully controlled. We turned to anyone and nobody can be truly sustainable to date.Ciro Pistarino
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How are you dealing with this problem?
Ciro Pistarino: «We wanted to take a further step, we didn’t want to simply plant trees, we decided to help a sector in great difficulty: the national beekeeping sector. Bees are the basis of this ecosystem, yet they are disappearing, it seemed like a great starting point. We would like to commit ourselves precisely to the education; raising the awareness of the new generations about this issue».