Talks on Ethical Textiles were given at Reggio Emilia, Parma & Florence in Italy, on 25th, 26th and 27th March. The first one, in Reggio, was held at the Maki Pub, which serves simple meals and drinks. Maki Pub has bought all its furniture and most of its accessories from Ravinala, one of the Fair Trade organizations in Italy. David Cambioli of Altra Qualita, Deborah Lucchetti of the Clean Clothes Campaign, Michele Fantoni of INvestiRE & Uzramma of Malkha Marketing Trust spoke.
Altra Qualita imports artisan made goods - not just textiles - from the less industrialized countries. They buy khadi and malkha from Weavers´Wheel and make it into garments which they sell through their catalogue. The Clean Clothes Campaign looks into issues of exploited labour in the production/market chains of big clothing companies, shares such information with the public and attempts to influence the companies to mend their ways. INvestiRE is just at the early stages of setting up ethical clothing chain, from fabrics produced in India and Brazil, tailored in Italy by social businesses.
The audience on each occasion was drawn from the network of supporters of Ravinala and G.A.S, the Italian Ethical Consumer Group.
My Italian being limited to 'grazie' & 'buon giorno' I needed a translator. Deborah did it at the Maki Pub, Michele in Parma and Massimo, a professional translator but one who specializes in sport, in Florence. Massimo had prepared for the event by going through our website and did an excellent job.
It is tempting to see these efforts as larger and more significant than they are, nevertheless, they do represent a growing interest in promotion of local and ethical manufacture and trade.
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