It is a well-known fact amongst buyers that even if a garment has Made in Italy in it and is from the most marketed Italian fashion houses, it is often stretching the truth. They may have had the buttons or a finishing done in Italy but in fact the garment could have been actually made in Romania, Turkey, Morocco or elsewhere.
Those manufacturers who truly do make their clothes in Italy have, for many years, tried to find ways to get their message across. Now, because more and more buyers are becoming aware of the issue and are still being asked to pay high prices for the merchandise, one knitwear company that I’ve worked with for a very long time has decided to do something positive about it.
Lorena Antoniazzi, one of a group of Italian perfectionists who have been in the ‘truly made in Italy’ business for many years, has developed a system which enables the traceability of its merchandise and gives it Italian Textile Fashion (ITF) certification as Truly Made in Italy.
The patent-pending system, which is due to go live on the company’s website in the coming weeks, involves a waterproof microchip being inserted in the labels of its clothes with an associated barcode which enables the purchaser to trace all of the stages of production via the website. (If you’ve bought one of their garments from Wardrobe in recent weeks, you will have seen the label with the barcode – and the microchip is in the label.)
The company is hoping that the initiative will help buyers understand the quality, and value the professionalism, of every stage of production by Italian craftsmen. You can read more about it here: http://www.lorenaantoniazzi.it/. And I hope you’ll being seeing much more about it in the press in the coming months as others come on board.
I think this is a fantastic and far-sighted initiative – and I’m really pleased that it’s one of our suppliers that is leading the way. We have always taken great pains to ensure that everything we buy is truly made in Italy – and for Sfera we know it is because we manage the production directly. But this innovation can only be good for those of us who prefer to buy clothes based on quality and craftsmanship rather than on brand name alone.