“I am optimistic. We must be able to restructure our production system, the business system in order to be able to seize what will be a strong recovery, correcting the errors and distortions with which we entered this crisis,” said the Minister for Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, speaking at the think tank “Made in Italy: setting a new course”. To this must be added environmental issues. The president of Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi, pointed out that the Italian industry is second in the world in terms of industrial waste recycling. “The real challenge is global governance: Europe must decide whether environmental dumping can be accepted or must be discouraged.” With regards to the controversial directive on plastics, Bonomi disputes the guidelines that have been abnormally extended, banning biodegradable products. We need to approach the issue of sustainability with a great deal of common sense. Our impression is that there is a fundamentalism about the environment that does not take into account the fact that in order to achieve a better world there is a transition, a time for transformation.”
Claudio Marenzi, President and CEO of Herno, past president of Confindustria Moda and currently at the helm of Pitti Immagine, emphasised how in recent days fashion is finally taking back its physical spaces. Right now haute couture shows in Paris and men’s fashion week in Milan, moreover physical fairs will return at the end of the month. The textile-clothing-accessory (TMA) supply chain is a system that in 2019 had a turnover of almost 100 billion and represents an economic and social engine for our country. Together with tourism, catering and entertainment, TMA was among the sectors most affected by the pandemic, but the recovery has begun, especially in the medium and high-end range. “Sustainability and digitalisation will undoubtedly be the accelerators of the recovery, pillars of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) and of the future of TMA,” explained Claudio Marenzi. “With the motto of the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – our supply chain, made up mainly of SMEs, has been working on environmental and social sustainability for many years, even before this topic became central to any economic or political project. Thanks to the many certifications that companies of all sizes apply for and obtain, the effort to limit negative impacts on the environment in any way is demonstrable and quantifiable.” But that is no longer enough: not only do production and distribution processes need to be changed, from the sourcing of raw materials to the design of the stores, but also – and above all – sustainability is already changing the way designers, stylists and entrepreneurs think about collections and the way they organise every part of the value chain. “However, we also need the commitment of consumers: we must all feel the responsibility for a change in culture and in our habits. For many years companies have been committed to reducing the consumption of raw materials and investing in circular economy projects, and the same must apply to fashion’s end customers, i.e. all of us.” The path of digitalisation is also challenging: “For TMA, it means much more than e-commerce and virtual showrooms,” concluded the CEO of Herno. “It must serve to integrate processes within the supply chain and, increasingly important, to protect us from external threats and to make every link in the system more efficient. Digitalisation and sustainability can trigger a virtuous circle, for TMA and for the country.”
The national recovery and resilience plan and the funds arriving from Brussels are working and activating the engine. “The first quarter of 2021 was very dynamic. Export data shows a 4% increase compared to 2020, but above all, in absolute values, we are at € 118 billion: a value higher than the record of 2019,” declared Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, interviewed by the editor of the Sole24Ore newspaper Fabio Tamburini. With regard to the NRRP, “we will make it, because of the leadership that Italy is exercising in Europe and because the reforms are proceeding at a rapid pace.”

Minister for Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, in conversation with  Fabio Tamburini, editor of the IlSole24Ore