Sustainability and innovation were at the heart of the recent meeting organised by UniCredit and Pitti Uomo in Florence. The spotlight was on the projects of three start-ups selected by UniCredit Start Lab.

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Eco-leather made from citrus waste, knitwear in wool from cruelty-free farms, footwear made exclusively on demand via web for a 100% Made in Italy product that eliminates waste. The ideas for increasingly sustainable fashion are there, and finance supports them.  Concrete evidence of this emerged at Pitti 101 in Florence during the talk "How finance supports fashion's green revolution". An initiative born from the collaboration between Pitti and UniCredit, the main sponsor of the event held from 11 to 13 January in Florence. 


At the heart of the debate was the testimony of three start-ups made in Italy, selected by UniCredit Start lab, the bank's business and innovation platform that supports high-potential Italian tech start-ups and SMEs. The three selected companies, present at UniCredit’s stand at the fair, range from clothing to footwear and raw materials. Fortunale, from Bari, produces 100% wool jumpers from cruelty-free farms, coloured with natural dyes and up to 80% recyclable. For each garment, the company also undertakes to plant a tree. Dis (Civitanova Marche), on the other hand, is an e-commerce that allows you to create a personalised classic men's shoe, 100% Made in Italy. Finally, Ohoskin (Catania, Italy) creates a totally vegan and sustainable alternative to luxury leather of animal origin that is more durable than synthetic leather. To do so, it has patented an industrial process based on the circular economy, starting with the by-products of local oranges and cacti. 


During the Talk, moderated by Matteo Minà, journalist for Milano Finanza Fashion, Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine; Giusy Stanziola, Start Lab & Development Programs UniCredit; and the representatives of the Start Up: Ivan Aloisio, CEO & Founder Fortunale; Andrea Carpineti, CEO Future Fashion (owner of DIS) - Macerata; Valentina Merighi, Co-Founder Ohoskin.  


Giusy Stanziola emphasised how UniCredit works "not only as a business accelerator, but also as a managerial academy, fostering connections between the different worlds participating in the programme. In addition, we have already opened a new call for projects for 2022, with the possibility of submitting projects until 28 April." It is precisely with a view to connections that the first result has already been achieved, with the agreement between Ohoskin and Dis for the production of shoe prototypes using the Sicilian startup's materials.


"Sustainability is increasingly at the centre of the consumer's agenda, said Raffaello Napoleone introducing the talk. Sooner or later the issue of sustainability in fashion will emerge from the hyper-media cone in which it is now to become a structural element of processes and products, of presence and success on the markets".


“UniCredit a bank and partner in the area - commented Andrea Burchi, UniCredit's Regional Manager for the Centre North - wanted to take an active part in the Pitti Immagine initiatives, recognising in them many important opportunities to support one of the leading sectors of the Made in Italy excellence: fashion. UniCredit is aware of the sector's strengths and high potential and offers services and solutions to facilitate processes aimed at developing the entire production chain."