S|Style sustainable style
The new names in menswear on stage at Pitti Uomo 102
Edition 102
The responsible menswear talents of the future on stage for the fifth edition of the project: a presentation and a live shooting with Acielle from Style Du Monde
By Giorgia Cantarini
Pitti Immagine’s 2022 journey continues in a direction of sustainable fashion. Next to established brands that are already responsible in their approach and use of certified raw materials, like Alpha Tauri, North sails, Tombolini, Raeburn, EcoAlf and Save The Duck, just to name a few, it is in the S|Style sustainable style project curated by journalist Giorgia Cantarini that it is possible to find emerging realities born under the vocation of a conscious and inclusive style. This year the project was revealed through a presentation held in the Medici Pavilion and a live shooting directed by fashion photographer and Contributor on Vogue, Acielle / Style Du Monde.

The mission of S|Style sustainable style revolves around environmental awareness, talent, and the ability to work in a circular way that is respectful towards the planet. Much more than a simple trend or marketing strategy, there is clear attention on supporting brands committed to change and a responsible conversion in terms of production and work ethics.  

The project, now in its fifth edition, is cited as one of the four macro areas where menswear expresses itself today, presenting a selection of 10 brands that create and produce in accordance with criteria of responsibility. The sustainability “practices” chosen by each brand and designer are multiple: from popular upcycling, or rather the technique of reworking an already existing item of clothing, to the use of fabrics certified in accordance with international standards (among the most famous is GOTS organic cotton); from the activities of giving back to the benefit of the planet, with the support of environmental associations and organizations, to the use of recycled materials and ethical work practices capable of making the most of craftsmanship. 
Connor McKnight

It is precisely from the idea of upcycling leftover fabric scraps that gives shape to the casual-sartorial suits of Connor McKnight, a young and promising talent in Made in Brooklyn menswear as well as the protégé of Maison Kitsunè, which during the pandemic recently acquired a minor share in the brand. With experiences from Bode to Kith, the stylistic eclecticism of McKnight passes through a blending and readaptation of vintage garments, with the use of deadstock fabrics and salvaged yarns.  
Waste Yarn Project

“We take surplus yarn from the fashion industry and put it into our uniquely designed knit system. What comes out are individually made pieces that embrace randomness with infinite possibilities”. Accordingly, Siri Johansen of the Waste Yarn Project, a brand of knitwear, explains how he understood how it was possible to upcycle leftover scraps of wool through a poetic vision of knitwear. One-of-a-kind pieces, in line with the wearer’s desire for uniqueness. The shape of each piece is designed with care, while each garment features a different combination of weft and warp.
Philip Huang 

Philip Huang instead preserves the Thai traditions of artisanal Tie and dye by dyeing his urban garments with natural and non-chemical dyes.

Inspired by architecture, by the evolution of the modern way of living and by mixes of contemporary cultures, MWORKS creates a genderless wardrobe that is 100% responsible. The clothes are locally made by hand in France, Belgium, and Poland by ateliers and independent manufacturers with certified or recycled materials, and are free of polluting chemicals, with processes mostly done by laser and a limited use of zippers, which are replaced by heat-welded seams.

The same attention to territoriality and sustainability of materials is likewise true of the workmanship of Maxime, with its sartorial comfort that also includes accessories like shoes, backpacks, and hats in vegan materials. 

A “geographic” focus of the project regards India in particular, which is one of the leading textile manufacturers worldwide and on the front line in tackling the issue of climate change impact. The Indian brand Dhruv Kapoor, one of the leading brands of S/style that is also present on the calendar of Milano Moda Uomo, commits to circularity with 40% of its collection created by upcycling discarded textiles from domestic manufacturers. Social change initiatives and corporate responsibility are at the heart of the brand’s activities, which include collaborations with beneficial associations like Hothur Foundation to create job opportunities for acid attack survivors and collaborative projects in a network of villages across India to uplift and preserve skilled handwork artisans.

Dhruv Kapoor

The DNA of Dhruv Kapoor is built upon a mix of custom prints and textiles by Indian hand embroiderers and textile artisans. The collections are defined by a juxtaposition of design and attention to detail, with an emphasis on an eclectic use of materials and an irreverent sartorial-sporty mood. Stereotypes and conventions are set aside, in order to move toward new perspectives, cultural diversity, and a visual horizon that is increasingly vast.


while for Junk, “waste” gives rise to new eyewear, or rather from plastics collected in the oceans (by the Parley for Oceans) are forged Y2k sunglasses in Econyl, with the brand becoming part of the 1% for the Planet, the organization that donates 1 percent of the brand’s proceeds to environmental causes around the world.

Breaking artificial hierarchies and social constructs, the Indian brand Margn focuses its efforts on a culture of humanism. The concept is connected to clothing through symbolic compositions, humanoid symbols, uniforms of humanity, single argyle patterns, valves and upcycled water pipes representing the interconnectedness between all of us. These ideas are presented next to a sartorial and knitwear language developed by artisanal workshops, where ethics is the first requirement for the creation of the collections. Exploitation is banned, with “humane” working conditions and hours. “Sustaining our belief in working with smaller communities, with the collection we’ll present at Pitti, we have continued our partnership with the all women’s community which resides in the northern Himalayas and which has been creating our signature pieces such as argyles and ikats,” declare the designers Saurabh Maurya and Ranjit Yadav.
Curious Grid 

Always with Indian roots is Curious Grid, the brand that is based on the idea of upcycling stocks of leftover fabric scraps from knitting mills and yarns that are unused at the factories. The revival of traditional weaving techniques is what guides the research of Sheetal Shah, creator of the brand with previous stints of working for menswear bespoke tailors in Naples, who is convinced that the fashion content of workwear from earlier times provides contemporary added value.

Unisex clothing created through the visionary journey of love for vintage. It represents the concept that is shared by Niccolò Chiuppesi for the Bennu brand. From the research done inside warehouses and stocks of unsold garments arrive the first collections of sartorial blazers by Bennu: unique and numbered pieces that, recovered and transformed, blend the Italian sartorial tradition with the desire to be a voice in the process of change, in a combination between slow fashion and circularity. 
Visit the business pages of the featured brands on Pitti Connect: