Originating from the cocoon of the silkworm, silk is a precious and very resistant natural fiber that has long been used in the production of fashion accessories. In particular, thanks to its high resistance to deformation, natural shine and affinity to dye, mulberry silk is our material of choice when it comes to neckwear, such as ties, bow ties, pocket squares and suit scarves.
We are lucky to be based in one of the world’s most important silk manufacturing districts and, for this reason, our silk suppliers are as local as it gets. Since we use silk in the production of both woven and knitted neckwear, we rely on two separate local suppliers for woven silk fabric and silk yarn.
Our Silk Yarn
The supply chain of our silk starts in carefully selected silk farms in China, where the majority of the world’s raw silk is produced. After the raw silk reaches our suppliers, each production step needed to create silk yarn, such as twisting and reeling, takes place in their factories in close proximity of Como. Both our suppliers adhere to the traceability and sustainability standards set out by TFashion which traces a product’s identity back to its origin and guarantees that the entire production is 100% Made in Italy, while also assessing its environmental impact.
When it comes to the silk used in our knitted products, our supplier dyes the raw yarn in a multitude of colours following recipes perfected over the years. The process used ensures exceptional colour fastness and is undertaken without the use of hazardous chemicals as set by Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
Our Silk Fabric
There are few more steps involved in the production of our silk fabric. Our supplier first weaves the raw yarn into fabric using mechanical looms. As for all our printed fabrics, this raw silk fabric is then transferred on to our printer. There, the silk fabric is printed with inkjet, a chemical-free process that guarantees long lasting quality of the design and vividness of the colours.
Comfort, warmth, and richness of colour are just some of the features that make wool and cashmere our materials of choice for our Autumn/Winter collections. Wool has long been a part of Italy’s textile tradition and no city is a better example of this legacy than Biella in the north-west corner of the country, 90km away from our headquarters. For this reason, we are proud to source our wool and cashmere yarn and fabric from three companies that have long been part of this tradition.
Our Wool Yarn
The wool yarn used in our knitted ties, bow ties, and scarves is our supplier’s top of the range product: Cashwool. This yarn is created from Australian extra-fine Merino wool expertly selected to ensure strength, elasticity, fluidity, low pilling and an extraordinary soft texture similar to cashmere. From beginning to end, our supplier is highly committed to sustainability and traceability. Each one of the steps involved in the production of their yarn is certified 100% Made in Italy by TFashion and takes place entirely in their factory, a state-of-the-art facility where environmental sustainability and energy efficiency are the focus. As for all our materials, our wool yarn is free of harmful substances according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
Our Wool and Cashmere Yarn
To craft our softest and warmest scarves and knitted ties, we use a particular blend of wool and cashmere sourced from another renowned “lanificio Biellese” founded in 1667(!). Our supplier is among the few Italian spinners able to directly control its entire supply chain: superfine wool and cashmere is directly purchased from selected woolgrowers in Australia and then combed, dyed and spun in Italy, entirely within their factory walls. Origin, traceability and compliance to the standards of Textiles & Health and TFashion are certified and guaranteed.
Our Wool Fabric
The wool used in our printed accessories is also processed and woven in Biella by a fabric mill which has been our partners for many years. Also in this case, the raw fiber is directly sourced in Australia and then transferred to our supplier in Italy where it is carefully inspected, choosing only parts with the highest level of fineness and pureness. The wool is then combed, spun and woven into very soft fabric which, after a visit to our printer, becomes the very colourful material that we use in our warmer ties, bow ties, and scarves.
“To leather or not to leather” is a question that has been tormenting us over the last years. Thanks to its strength and high resistance to tear and flexing, leather is a perfect material to craft high quality and durable accessories but, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Conventional leather is, in fact, all but a sustainable material and the chemicals used to treat (tan) rawhide are extremely dangerous for the environment, especially when improperly discharged in the water supply. Therefore, we had to carefully find a solution to craft our belts and wallets that was consistent with our ethical quality vision.
We explored and tested many sustainable substitute materials, such as vegan leather, but unfortunately we couldn’t find an option that was meeting our quality standards. Given the lack of alternatives, we decided not to give up leather but instead to find a leather producer that shares our same values and concerns for the environment. To find the right partner we went to Prato, on the outskirts of Florence, making our leather supplier the furthest away from our headquarters (270 km).
To produce our leather, we first and foremost make sure that no animal is killed for its skin. Our supplier uses exclusively rawhides discarded by the food industry producing meat for human consumption, transforming them into eco-friendly leather and suede of impeccable quality through a traditional process, typical from Tuscany, known as vegetable tanning. This process, which takes several weeks compared to few hours of conventional tanning, relies on tannins from bark and fruits instead of toxic chemicals, such as chromium, eliminating toxic pollution into water waste and ensuring that our leather accessories can be safely disposed of at the end of their life. Sustainability is not the only thing that we love about vegetable tanned leather. This thick leather is, in fact, perfect to craft accessories such as belts and wallets as it is very resistant and durable and its natural look and feel only improves over time, together with its softness.
Soft feel and breathable properties make cotton our material of choice for socks. Despite being the most widely used natural fiber in clothing, conventionally grown cotton relies heavily on irrigation water and chemicals, such as herbicides, fertilizers, and insecticides. Given these negative characteristics, we made a pledge to use exclusively sustainably grown cotton and we looked left and right for the right supplier to trust with our sourcing. We finally partnered with a cotonificio in Brescia (60km from us) which impressed us for the quality of their yarn and their sustainable methods of production.
Our Cotton Yarn
The journey of our cotton starts in Egypt, where our supplier directly grows non-genetically modified long staple cotton of the Giza 86 type on two farms on the banks of the Nile River. Egyptian Cotton is praised for the strength and fineness of its fiber and it is generally regarded as the best in the world. To preserve its quality, our cotton is carefully looked after and hand-picked in five stages to ensure the right maturity of the bolls and limit the use of chemicals, such as defoliants. The location of our farms is also ideal for cotton cultivation as the climate and proximity to the Nile act as a natural irrigation system, limiting the depletion of water resources. Once picked, the cotton is transferred to our supplier’s facility in Italy where it is hand combed to eliminate irregular and inferior particles and spun into yarn which is then dyed with colorants and auxiliaries that fully respect the human and environmental standards set by Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
As part of our agenda, we are committed to always improve our processes and find even more responsible ways to craft our high quality accessories. In this regard, we launched our first collection of socks made of 100% Organic Cotton. This cotton is not treated genetically and it is grown without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilisers or defoliants as established by the bioRe programme. On top of promoting organic and biodynamic farming, the BioRe Foundation also reinforces supported communities, in India and Tanzania, by income generation as well as improvements in health, education, and agricultural infrastructure.
When we first started experimenting with bamboo yarn, we were very impressed by the result and immediately decided to include a small range of bamboo socks in our collection. Its features make it a perfect material for socks: it is highly absorbent and breathable and it is naturally anti-bacterial (including odor-producing bacteria) and, consequently, hygienic. Bamboo is also an incredibly sustainable plant which grows very fast without the need of water irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers. Despite these positive aspects, transforming bamboo into a usable yarn is traditionally a chemically intensive process (hydrolysis alkalization) similar to the one used to produce rayon, making bamboo yarn de facto not sustainable.
Our Bamboo Yarn
When we started documenting ourselves on the positive and negative aspects of bamboo, we made a commitment to find a way to use this great material without causing excessive environmental harm. Our research led us to a producer, again in Brescia, which uses a process (lyocell) to chemically manufacture bamboo fiber in a way that is healthier and more sustainable than hydrolysis alkalization as it uses chemicals that are non-toxic to humans and that are recycled to be used again (closed-loop process). Once processed, this yarn is then spun and dyed without the use of hazardous chemicals and in respect of the standards set by Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
We are continuously working to improve the sustainability of our bamboo supply chain but, unfortunately, given the lack of valid alternatives, we are considering to drop this material from our collection and focus on organic cotton to manufacture all our socks.
Wearing a tie on a hot Summer day can be a real struggle; this is why we opt for linen to craft our ties and bow ties for the warmer season. Linen can, in fact, absorb a fair amount of moisture without feeling unpleasantly damp to the skin, making it a perfect material to keep you cool and fresh in hot weather.
Our Linen FabricLinen is made from the strong fibers of the flax, a plant cultivated with low impact on the environment as it relies on rain water to grow and doesn’t require pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or GMO seeds. Our linen is sourced in France from flax which is hand-harvested with the intent of generating the longest possible fibers needed to create a very resistant yarn. Once harvested, flax is separated and processed naturally using bacteria to obtain soft fibers that are spun into yarns by our supplier in Bergamo, just 40km from us. This undyed yarn is then woven into fabric which is then transferred to our printer in Como before becoming the colourful accessories that we appreciate so much during the Summer months.