The Italian fashion industry will gather Oct. 27-28, at the Giorgio Cini Foundation (Isola di San Giorgio) in Venice, for a two-day event dedicated to the highly topical and urgent issue of ecological transition and sustainable development, through an articulated program of debates, trend analysis, data, market behavior and best practices.

"We strongly wanted to bring this international forum on sustainability in the fashion supply chain to Venice," said Vincenzo Marinese, president of Confindustria Venezia. A sector, the latter, that in the Polytechnic of the Riviera del Brenta finds its hub of training, research and innovation in the sign of sustainability of products and processes. Our desire is to make Venice Sustainable Fashion Forum an annual event, a point of reference for worldwide scientific debate in the field of fashion, footwear, luxury and high-end tourism." 

The day on October 27, titled "Just Fashion Transition," will be organized by Confindustria Venezia Area Metropolitana di Venezia e Rovigo and The European House – Ambrosetti, under the patronage of Assocalzaturifici, and will focus on the environmental and social impacts of the fashion system, giving voice to the actors who pressure the system and to representatives of the supply chain, providing for the first time the results of a sustainability assessment conducted on companies in the Italian fashion supply chains. The day will conclude with the presentation of proposals to be addressed to Italian and international institutions aimed at fostering a just transition.

The day on October 28, on the other hand, titled "The Values of Fashion," will be organized by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), and will focus on the most topical issues related to the sustainability of fashion and the responsibilities of the supply chain actors.  Fashion companies and those in the supply chain will meet to chart the state of the art of the sector on sustainability issues, defining new challenges and tools to address them. 

Sergio Tamborini, President of Sistema Moda Italia, said in this regard, "Today we are in Venice as Sistema Moda Italia to reaffirm together with the industry, brands and institutions the need to take a common path to protect sustainability and to empower the textile supply chain, highlighting its excellence and talents."

Carlo Capasa, President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion said, "The Venice Sustainable Fashion Forum wants to be an opportunity to bring together all system operators, analyze the current state of our Industry, bring examples of virtuous realities and define together the challenges ahead and the goals we want to achieve."

The main goal of the Forum, at which institutions, brands, supply chain professionals, industry and business representatives, and NGOs are invited to participate, is to create the conditions for an acceleration of a sustainable transition path in a sector that suffers from a lack of data and standardized measurement tools.

In fact, according to surveys conducted by The European House- Ambrosetti, estimates of carbon emissions from the fashion industry show a variance of up to 310 percent across the different sources surveyed; similarly, estimates of annual freshwater withdrawals by companies show variations of up to 172 percent and up to 429 percent from data on water use for jeans production.

However, against this backdrop of inconsistency in the data, there emerges a requirement for about 1,000 European companies in the fashion and luxury sectors to make their quantitative sustainability performance public annually starting in fiscal year 2023 or, at the latest, 2024, according to the standards introduced by the new European directives. Italy, in particular, is first in Europe in terms of the number of companies affected by this deadline, nearly 300, followed by France with more than 130 and Germany with 110. Europe, on the other hand, has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 and has set up a roadmap of measures with intermediate targets for 2030.

 "What makes this 'transition to sustainability' very complex," pointed out Flavio Sciuccati, Senior Partner The European House Ambrosetti, "are some peculiar factors that characterize the fashion industry, such as the strong segmentation, which has in the Luxury segment its highest expression, but is instead characterized in terms of consumption and volumes also by many players in the lower segments of 'mass market' and 'fast fashion; the shortness of the product life cycle; the dastardly "globalization," the obsessive search for "low cost" and the delocalization of transformation processes to the advantage of factories in China and Southeast Asia."

In this regard, Ambrosetti, in its capacity as the "Think Tank" of the sector and of the "Just Fashion Transition" theme, is conducting a strategic study on the state of all the main industrial supply chains in the sector with the aim of measuring, highlighting and encouraging each and every company to take the path to Sustainability. The study will be presented at the opening of the Forum proceedings on October 27.