Sustainable Luxury Brands in Italy You Need to Know




“Beauty will save the world”. This quote from “The Idiot”, a classic novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, is very famous, but is it true?  Sadly, humans have committed many atrocities in the name of beauty and many people in the fashion industry seem to think that everything is justified in the pursuit of beauty. 


Fashion is undoubtedly an art from, but can art be valuable and meaningful nowadays if it is unethical? The creative and eco-conscious minds behind these sustainable and forward thinking luxury Italian brands do not seem to think so.    




Gilberto Calzolari

Mr. Calzolari was born and raised in Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, and worked for many luxury brands in Italy. In 2015, he founded a brand that is both sustainable and creative.  He won the “Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer 2018” at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards and the Best Emerging Designer Award at the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week. His F/W 2019-2020 collection, entitled “UNNATURAL” is bold and colourful with many references to contemporary art and especially to Damien Hirst and has plastic pollution as its main theme. This collection was made in Italy using an array of eco-friendly materials: EVO nylon, a type of fabric that is extracted from the seeds of the castor plant, SEAQUAL polyester, a material derived from the plastic recovered from the sea, and upcycled food packaging. Chic and green!



Nemanti Milano

Nemanti, formerly known as Opificio V, is a luxury vegan shoes brand founded by Paola Caracciolo. Their shoes are designed and made in Italy in two artisanal districts with an ancient and established history: the Marchigiano and the city of Parabiago. Their shoes are made with cruelty free materials such as linen, zero CO2 emissions Alcantara and apple leather. They offer a vast choice of styles from elegant and refined pumps, to sleek and stylish boots. Their products are ethical, comfortable and durable.



Cangiari is famous for its hand-woven fabrics. Hand waving is an ancient tradition in Calabria, a sign of its Hellenic and Byzantine past. Their clothes are made in Italy by cooperatives of the GOEL Group a social cooperative that employs disadvantage people in Calabria, an area that is both beautiful and complicated.  All of Cangiari’s clothes are made with organic materials in order to respect both our planet and their clients’ health. 



Tiziano Guardini

This sustainable luxury brand is the brainchild of Tiziano Guardini, a creative vegan designer from Rome. "This city is a jungle" his F/W 2019-2020 collection is both refined and vibrant with just a touch of androgyny. But don’t let the bold colours and eye-catching patterns fool you, these people are dead serious when it comes to sustainability. From the Isko denim (GOTS and OEKO TEX) to the Thermore padding made from recycled water bottles, every material was chosen not only for its beauty but also for its eco-friendliness, even zippers and buttons are made of recycled materials! In 2017 this brand was awarded with the “Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer” and the “Peta Couture Award”.  We can expect great things in the future from these creatives.    




Poethica is a sustainable luxury brand founded by a group of young creatives José Luis Toniutti, Naomi Enetomhe and Rebeca Dùran.  Feminine, delicate and classy, their clothes look like they belong to a fairy-tale princess. They are committed to minimize their environmental impact by using GOTS certified materials and working only with people who guarantee safe and healthy working conditions to their workers. Poethica is also a plastic free company that donates 3.3% of their profit on each purchase to foundations and organizations such as Greenpeace, Goodplanet Foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio Fundation and Cool Hearh Organization.



The story of Maraismara started in 2012 when Mara Bragaglia, an Italian jeweller, decided to found her own jewellery brand. She studied philosophy and perhaps her studies made her more prone to ask questions, even the difficult ones. She wanted to work with materials that were not just beautiful and luxurious but also ethical. Four years later Mara’s brand reached an important milestone: it became the first Italian goldsmith laboratory to use Fairtrade certified gold. Deciding to create responsible jewellery was not the easiest choice to make, but it was the right one. Her jewellery is beautiful and classy with a lovely vintage feel to it. A perfect example of sustainable luxury.



+ Words: Roberta Fabbrocino

Roberta Fabbrocino is an entrepreneur and a sustainability advocate. She is the co-founder of @mosclothingsubscription, an online personal styling service that helps you transition to slow fashion and to build a high quality, sustainable wardrobe.

Instagram:  @naturallybree