Sustainable Thinking, at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo



Numerous artists are looking at sustainability, some focusing on recovering our relationship with nature, the use of organic materials, the need for a creative re-use of materials or relations between nature and technology, while others are looking at the importance of a collective commitment to refounding society overall. Museo Salvatore Ferragamo presents the exhibition “Sustainable Thinking”, created to make people reflect on these themes through visions of art and fashion.


“Sustainability” defines the human capacity to meet “the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. It is a challenge that is not limited to production methods but also implies a greater focus on the environment overall. Equilibrium must be restored, beginning with a more aware and shared way of thinking that is capable of engendering new strategies of development and co-existence.

The Sustainable Thinking exhibition, held at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo from April 12th, 2019 to March 8th, 2020, explores Ferragamo sustainability from the avant-gardist spirit of the brand’s founder Salvatore Ferragamo in his revolutionary use of natural, recycled and innovative materials to the most innovative experimentation with responsible materials and techniques.

Designed by Stefania Ricci, Director of Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and Fondazione Ferragamo: with Giusy Bettoni, C.L.A.S.S. CEO and founder, Arabella S. Natalini, Sara Sozzani Maino and Marina Spadafora, the exhibition shares an artistic-cultural perspective on the vital issue of sustainability.


Sustainable Thinking aims to inspire consciousness on the increasingly crucial and contemporary issue of sustainability to a wider public.


New visions of art and fashion

The aim of the Sustainable Thinking project is to make people reflect on these themes through visions of art and fashion. The fashion industry, for its part, embarked upon the path towards sustainability some years ago, not just through a new generation of designers but also through innovative approaches adopted by luxury brands with a consolidated market presence, using new high-performance ecological materials and optimizing production processes.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for artists, fashion designers, textile and yarn manufacturers to offer a plurality of gazes inspiring new projects capable of using new technologies rather than submitting to them, of adopting a local approach, and of safeguarding our ecosystem.


Materials as leitmotiv

Materials are the leitmotiv throughout the exhibition: the suggested itinerary begins with the founder Salvatore Ferragamo’s initial research into materials in the 1920s, including hemp, cellophane and fish skin, to then explore the stories behind luxurious materials that, after reaching the end of their first life cycles, are transformed into quality products, becoming tangible examples of a circular economy.

Installations created using ancient crafting techniques present both the art of recycling and the rediscovery of handcrafting traditions, fundamental aspects of sustainable thinking. Moreover, the materials create layers of meaning, in which art is the tie between different cultural fields to be preserved in their diversity. Through experimentation, smart technologies open the door to change, leading to a virtuous rediscovery of natural fibres in an inexorable return to nature.