Over the past decades, the fashion industry has been the engine of global development. It is one of the largest consumer industries in the world, generating 1.5 trillion euros in annual revenues and employing around 60 million people.
But it is also the sector that breaks the mold, that anticipates trends and that in terms of “sustainability” and “green” is pushing more to meet the needs dictated by the new global movement for the environment.
Today we have the pleasure of hosting a company founded in 2017 that makes sustainability its credo and produces high quality items and accessories, made with recycled textile fibers.
Rifò was born in Prato, an area where the textile and artisan sector has been highly developed for over a century, and which is now strongly leaning to change towards an ethical and sustainable model, achieved through certain production values, such as:
- Clothes made with regenerated and regenerable materials
- Km 0 Production
- Social impact
Recycled cashmere, eco-sustainable T-shirts made with recycled cotton and regenerated jeans. Rifò’s production focuses on this, in order to give a higher value to clothes and emphasize their durability.
Their process also saves large amounts of water and limits the use of chemicals and plastics.
Circular fashion made in Italy
In this post we talk about Circular fashion and recycling, but what do we mean when we say Circular Economy?
“The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, lending, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.
In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible.
These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value,” he cites the European Parliament’s website
It is estimated that by 2050, two thirds of us will live in cities. However, our urban centers are grappling with the effects of our current waste-producing economy.
With this “linear system”, cities consume over 75% of natural resources, produce over 50% of global waste and emit between 60 and 80% of greenhouse gases.
A circular economy offers the opportunity to rethink how we produce and use the things we need. Moreover, it allows us to explore new ways to ensure long-term prosperity.
Fashion is a sector closely linked to consumers and able to define the trends that can then spread to other sectors. However, we need to distinguish between Luxury and Fast Fashion. The latter often involves substantial production outside Europe and a very intense use of natural resources, even in countries that only have a few.
In countries like the UK, 30% of the garments bought are never worn by consumers, which is why companies have begun to understand the importance of the situation and develop their plans with greater sensitivity.
Unfortunately, the brands that have turned towards a greener and more environmentally friendly strategy are only 3-5% of the total fashion market. Many brands are approaching circularity (by banning fur, for example) and issues such as upcycling and recycling are increasingly at the center of their strategies.
The circular economy is the future of fashion. It is based on an innovative design of materials and products, but above all on the maximization of reusing and recycling, to ensure that clothes are never wasted. A sustainable modus operandi that is attentive to the planet.
This is one of Rifò’s challenges, which recently joined the ShippyPro community to continue the process of expanding its online presence, by starting to sell in more Marketplaces.
We interviewed the CEO, Niccolò Cipriani, so he could tell us about their e–commerce success story.
Why Rifò? How was the brand born and what target does it want to reach?
The Rifò project was born in November 2017 after my work experience in Vietnam in Hanoi. There I was able to see closely the problem of overproduction and waste in the clothing sector. So I decided to return to Italy, where I began to recover the tradition of textile fiber regeneration, which has been practiced for centuries in my hometown, Prato, to create a brand with an ethical and sustainable production process. The idea was to create a clothing line for all those people who care about the environment and our planet.
Sustainability, environmental impact, why are they so important?
Because there aren’t enough resources on the planet to meet everyone’s needs, we need to find a way to efficiently use and reuse what we already have. There has been a lot of waste in fashion in recent years, but we could have avoided it with a more careful production. We think it is time for a turning point.
First steps, how did you start and then grew?
We grew by testing our idea, our product and the potential market with a crowdfunding campaign, then we created the company and launched our website. The e–commerce has also been joined by more than 100 retailers who now sell our products. Our goal has always been to expand abroad (Northern Europe and North America) and now that’s where we are most concentrated.
How is a new Rifò garment born? The production chain
A Rifò garment comes from waste: this can be an old cashmere sweater or industrial waste, selected and chopped locally in Prato by expert craftsmen who transform it into fiber and then into a new yarn. With this we produce our collections, by creating job opportunities in our territory and saving CO2 thanks to the small need for transport.
Why an e–commerce?
We liked the idea of being everywhere in a simple way and for this reason an e–commerce seemed the perfect choice. From the very beginning we thought of a local production model with a global distribution, with e–commerce this is possible with the right measures.
Logistics, warehouse, packaging and shipping
This is a very important and crucial part in terms of sustainability. We try to produce what is requested using the pre-sale model and with small continuous productions. The pre-sale model allows the customer to take advantage of a discount in exchange for waiting. In addition, the user has the feeling that the product is made especially for him, while we have the time to set up production by analyzing the orders received. As for shipments, we try to do what is strictly necessary by encouraging people to make group purchases in order to avoid excessive transport.
Because it is the simplest solution to use among those we evaluated: it is already connected with our Carriers and it has a very strong Support Team, always available and ready to answer.
How did you manage the whole shipping process before adopting ShippyPro?
We used to manage it manually by accessing each platform. It took a lot of time and resources, now everything is easier with just one click.
How do you think it will improve your customer satisfaction?
The user will certainly feel more assisted, updated at every step of the shipment with personalized emails that inform him of the status of the delivery.
Projects for the future?
We would like to strengthen our collection system, involving people more in the circular process and offering them the opportunity to give us other types of garments in addition to cashmere and jeans.
ShippyPro is here to make the process of shipping items to your customers and tracking the delivery status much easier. As well as the Label Creator which you can use to instantly print out shipping labels for your packages, other features include:
- Track & Trace, which keeps your customers informed with delivery notifications at every stage of their package’s journey
- Easy Returns, a handy returns portal that can be embedded directly into your website’s code for no-hassle customer returns
- Live Checkout, which offers live delivery rates at checkout so your customers can choose the best option for them, including collecting their order from a nearby pickup location.
Try a 30-order trial of ShippyPro for free today to see how these features can work for you.