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Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability Research Paper


Sustainable development has entered almost every sphere of our life. People realize that in order to pass something good to future generations, they need to do something positive at present. Producing and consuming too much hurts the environment as it increases the amount of waste and causes pollution. People should consider every way of eliminating the adverse outcomes of production.

Fashion Sustainability

Out of all industries, apparel production is one of the most harmful to the environment. It involves many production phases, each of which employs human and material resources. Therefore, fashion sustainability is becoming a highly discussed trend in modern society. Companies are thinking of ways to eliminate dangerous carbon emissions, reduce material waste, and develop the possibilities to help people in the disadvantaged regions. Sustainable goals for the planet incorporate the objectives for the fashion industry. While not all producers and consumers of fashion organizations’ products are environmentally aware and conscious, more and more people are considering these issues when choosing their clothes. Many successful sustainable campaigns have been launched to ensure the positive development of the industry. Among these, Carmina Campus, which was initiated by an Italian designer Ilaria Venturini Fendi, occupies a prominent place. This project not only cares about the environment but also provides working places for impoverished women from African regions.

The Development of Sustainability

The article by Griggs et al. (2013) is dedicated to sustainable development (SD) objectives for the planet and people. The authors suggest a revised definition of SD. According to Griggs et al. (2013), SD is the development that corresponds to present demands and at the same time protects the life-support order on the Earth to ensure the well-being of the next generations. Griggs et al. (2013) argue that SD goals should focus on two major concerns: the reduction of poverty and the protection of life-support structure. The authors delineate six SD objectives: the guarantee of sustainable food, prospering livelihoods, the guarantee of sustainable water, healthy ecosystems, clean global energy, and administration for sustainable societies (Griggs et al., 2013). Griggs et al. (2013) emphasize that SD goals have to be measurable and established on thorough research, and they should be implemented in both developed and developing countries. The authors argue that the paradigm of SD suggested by the United Nations needs to be revised. Griggs et al. (2013) propose that instead of differentiating between three “pillars” of SD (social, economic, and environmental), it should be viewed as a “nested concept” (p. 306). The main principles of SD, as delineated by Griggs et al. (2013) are eliminating hunger and poverty rates, enhancing people’s health, and organizing sustainable producing and consuming models. At the author’s note, the successful implementation of SD principles and goals is possible only on the condition of economic change. Griggs et al. (2013) consider that national policies need to put a value on natural capital while a cost should be placed on unsustainable activities. Furthermore, the authors suggest reinforcing the international governance of global resource domains with the help of terminating the destruction of biodiversity, making agreements concerning climate change, and implementing other SD projects (Griggs et al., 2013).

In their research, Christen and Schmidt (2011) also investigate the SD challenge. The authors create a framework for sustainability conceptions which incorporates practical and fundamental elements. Christen and Schmidt (2011) argue that the sustainability discourse contains a lot of illogicalities. Thus, they attempt to describe the major reasons for such unreasonableness and suggest ways of dealing with them. According to Christen and Schmidt (2011), there are three main causes of the ambiguity of SD discourse: the vagueness of the definitions, the narrowness of definitions, and the variety of them. The authors remark that to understand the concept of SD better, it is necessary to comprehend it’s the meaning and constituent parts first of all. Thus, Christen and Schmidt (2011) propose a framework for conceptions of sustainability which consists of five modules: (1) “the sustainability problem,” (2) “the normative principle of justice,” (3) “the descriptive principle of integration,” (4) “the criteria for sustainability,” and (5) “the transformation into practice” (p. 403). The sustainability problem is defined as a kind of developmental crisis: while there are concrete objectives of the development, our natural and social living circumstances limit the possibility of attaining these goals (Christen & Schmidt, 2011). The normative principle of justice is explained as an assumption that every person has a right to have appropriate living conditions (Christen & Schmidt, 2011). The descriptive principle of integration is defined as the combination of natural and social systems which provides an explanatory hypothesis of the world’s system (Christen & Schmidt, 2011). What concerns the fourth module, the authors suggest that there are three essential aspects concerning sustainability criteria: they point out minimal demands to SD, they need to be independent, and they should exist in harmony with other criteria (Christen & Schmidt, 2011). The fifth module of Christen and Schmidt’s (2011) framework presupposes the explanation of the ways in which sustainability demands are satisfied.

How does Sustainability Apply to Fashion Industry?

Sustainability is connected with every sphere of human activity, and the fashion industry is not an exception. Choi and Li (2015) investigate the role of sustainability in fashion business operations. The authors note that if the organizations concerned with fashion want to maintain high profits, they need to reorganize their operational tactics in accordance with global sustainability trends. In their article, Choi and Li (2015) analyze the critical issues associated with the fashion industry such as corporate social responsibility, closed-loop supply chain management, and economic sustainability. The authors consider closed-loop supply chain management as a great way of improving environmental sustainability (Choi & Li, 2015). Choi and Li (2015) mention that the core objective of such a strategy is the appropriate remanufacturing, reusing, and recycling of the unnecessary fashion products which leads to the reduction of environmental destruction. The authors admit that the process of remanufacturing is also harmful to some extent. However, the benefits of closed-loop supply chain management are more numerous than the drawbacks (Choi & Li 2015). Corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to Choi and Li (2015), is another significant element on the way to gaining sustainability. Companies that develop CSR measures are more environmentally aware and targeted at a sustainable production process. Choi and Li (2015) discuss economic sustainability as an inseparable element of a successful business strategy of any fashion production company. The authors emphasize that while taking care of environmental awareness, fashion business owners should not neglect their economic sustainability. Choi and Li (2015) remark that such a factor as over-confidence may be harmful to the economic stability of an organization. Also, the authors suggest that fashion business organizations should perform regular analysis of their activity to assess the number of harmful emissions and waste produced during the production process. Choi and Li (2015) emphasize the significance of fashion business operations’ movement towards sustainability and environmental friendliness.

Research by Goworek, Fisher, Cooper, Woodward, and Hiller (2012) analyzes the UK consumers’ attitudes toward buying sustainable clothes and scrutinizes the ways in which such analysis may impact the retailers’ tactics. As Goworek et al. (2012) remark, there are two interchangeable notions describing thoughtful decision-making by the consumers: sustainable consumption and ethical consumption. People driven by these principles tend to base their purchase choices not only on personal preferences but also on environmental considerations (Goworek et al., 2012). The authors delineate the following sustainable issues driven by the fashion industry: working conditions and wages of the employed people, the growing amount of clothing utilization, throwing away the used clothes, and the use of pesticides (Goworek et al., 2012). Goworek et al. (2012) delineate such kinds of sustainability in the fashion industry as producing clothes from organic cotton (which is pesticide-free), using recycled materials, and creating garments that are out of fashion, which enables people to wear them for a long time. The authors note that one of the reasons for unsustainable use of clothes is that people tend to buy cheaper garments which they throw out after a short use (Goworek et al., 2012). Also, Goworek et al. (2012) remark that consumers are not entirely aware of the harm to the environment caused by the wrong choices of the materials. As a result of their research, Goworek et al. (2012) conclude that people’s pro-environmental conduct is rarely intentional, and frequently it was merely a reaction to some outer impact. The consumers’ ways of maintaining and getting rid of clothes are associated with their personal routines and habits rather than with sustainable awareness and responsibility (Goworek et al., 2012). However, Goworek et al. (2012) conclude that it is possible to convince the consumers to alter their environmental considerations by encouraging them to contemplate on the outcomes of their choices.

The Worldwide Situation and US Situation of Sustainable Fashion

Ho and Choi (2012) analyze the situation of sustainable fashion in China. The authors explain the necessity for fashion designers to “go green” (Ho & Choi, 2012, p. 161). Ho and Choi (2012) apply a Five-R framework to assess the initiation, application, and standardization of a Hong Kong fashion company to see how sustainable trends are employed by it. As opposed to a traditional Three-R framework (reducing, reusing, and recycling), the Five-R framework is extended by two more components: re-designing and re-imagining (Ho & Choi, 2012). Re-design incorporates such aspects as the use of the materials and the process re-design (Ho & Choi, 2012). Re-imagining, as well as re-designing, is considered at the initial stage of production when producers come up with the ways of further application of their products after the first use. Ho and Choi (2012) emphasize that the fashion company should take the environment into account before starting a production process. Having analyzed the activity of several Hong Kong companies, Ho and Choi (2012) remark that the green supply chain framework enhances the possibilities of following each step of the Five-R model, which leads to creating eco-friendly products. According to Ho and Choi (2012), implementing environmentally beneficial tactics allows companies to enhance their chances of success and raise their competitiveness. Furthermore, sustainability has become to be a major business strategy, which encourages business owners to take a top-down approach and dedicate their leadership to sustainability goals (Ho & Choi, 2012). The authors conclude that to reach a competitive advantage, fashion designers need to seriously evaluate the process of their product development and extend control over their life-cycles (Ho & Choi, 2012). Application of the Five-R framework helps to identify weaknesses in a company’s structure and allows the managers to strengthen these points.

Shen (2014) investigates sustainable fashion approaches in Sweden. The author emphasizes that the customers’ growing environmental awareness stimulates fashion companies’ striving for sustainability. According to Shen (2014), the first step on the way to creating sustainable production is the development of a sustainable supply chain. On the example of a Swedish company H&M, Shen (2014) delineates the structure of a sustainable fashion supply chain which involves such components as preparing eco-material, sustainable manufacturing, green distribution and retailing, and ethical consumption. Shen (2014) analyzes the H&M’s sustainable supply chain and concludes that the chain is composed of the following elements: creating eco-materials, organizing safety education, supervising the sustainable manufacturing process, eliminating carbon emission, and popularizing eco-fashion. The author analyzes three major findings from H&M’s fashion supply chain. The first lesson given by the company’s supply managers is that they seek for supplies in the developing countries where people’s welfare levels are low (Shen, 2014). The second tactic is setting higher inventory standards in the countries whose citizens have better living conditions. The third suggestion is that rather than considering environmental well-being, the CEOs should pay attention to the levels of economic and human well-being when launching online stores in specific countries (Shen, 2014). One of the sustainable operation practices present in H&M is green retailing. This experience is rather successful and beneficial both for the consumers and the environment. In 2013, H&M launched a “clothing conscious” collection (Shen, 2014, p. 6241). The concept of this suggestion is that people may return an old garment to any H&M store and receive a 15% discount for the next thing they buy. Such a solution is a great opportunity to encourage ethically unconscious consumers to participate in sustainable consumption. Thus, green retailing has proven to be a successful sustainable approach.

Jung and Jin (2014) analyze the US situation of sustainable fashion. The authors outline such primary sustainable practices as exchanging toxic materials with eco-friendly supplies and shortening the waste amount and resource utilization. One of the most effective trends is slow fashion. Such an approach incorporates slow production and consumption. The biggest benefit of slow production is that it does not overuse natural and human resources and provides longer productivity of the items (Jung & Jin, 2014). The authors remark that slow fashion may contribute to the promotion of US domestic fashion manufacturing. Moreover, Jung and Jin (2014) note that slow fashion has the capability to expand consumer choices’ variety due to merging the innovative ideas of young designers with local resources. The authors remark that slow production allows the people and the environment to live a healthier life and gives an opportunity for the environment to be reconstructed (Jung & Jin, 2014). Without the use of natural resources, slow production makes it possible for the raw materials to grow in the natural environment and at the appropriate speed. Naturally, slow fashion is environmentally friendly because its products are made in small amounts, thus eliminating the waste and exploitation of resources (Jung & Jin, 2014). Slow production enhances the employees’ life quality and secures their basic rights by enabling them to work shorter hours. Also, slow fashion companies allow organizing better relationships between employees. Moreover, while more time is spent on the production of each item, the final products have higher quality and will serve longer (Jung & Jin, 2014). Slow production enables the organizations to let customers participate in the design process which stimulates people’s responsibility and environmental awareness (Jung & Jin, 2014). Jung and Jin (2014) also delineate the advantages of slow consumption as a part of slow fashion. They emphasize that this kind of fashion presupposes a more integral approach by considering not only production but also the consumption of the items. Jung and Jin (2014) remark that there is a risk of sustainable production turning into unsustainable if clothes created from ecological materials are not worn for a long time. Thus, the authors suggest that the products’ lifecycle needs to be extended to comply with slow consumption requirements. The longer durability of the product makes it possible to eliminate the waste of energy and natural resources. Jung and Jin (2014) notice that the extended longevity of clothes allows people to wear them for a long time and thus become more eco-friendly.

What is Fashion Sustainability?

Fashion sustainability is defined as creating environmentally friendly clothes and encouraging people to wear them. Rostami (2009) investigates the concept of fashion sustainability. The author remarks that to achieve sustainability in fashion, it is necessary to adopt some regulations and organize proper advertising techniques (Rostami, 2009). Rostami (2009) also notes that the current state of fashion sustainability should be put to a higher level by educating people about the outcomes of their fashion preferences. According to the author, the fashion industry is “inherently” unsustainable (Rostami, 2009, p. 2) because its driving tendencies alter rapidly and lead to environmentally-harmful outcomes. The reason why consumers do not pay much attention to make sustainable choices is that they are not aware of the clothes production phases and the materials involved in this production. Designers may utilize materials the production of which necessitated the use of pesticides. Furthermore, there is a lot of waste in fashion production, which also harms the environment (Rostami, 2009). Rostami (2009) argues that in order to make fashion consumption more eco-friendly, people have to be explained the major damaging factors of the industry. However, consumer demand is not the only element of the sustainable future of garment design. Rostami (2009) remarks that designers should give people a sufficient choice of sustainable clothes. According to Rostami (2009), there are two major options for the designers. The first one is creating partially sustainable clothes. This variant is less time- and energy-consuming and makes it possible to create clothes faster. The second option is incorporating sustainability at every phase of clothing production. This way takes up more time, but it enables the designers to make a thoughtful choice for the future welfare of the planet (Rostami, 2009). Moreover, companies which take care of sustainability will dedicate time and efforts to convince their

Sustainable Fashion Markets and Consumers

In their article, Jung and Jin (2016) analyze the slow fashion market as a way of improving sustainability. The authors suggest a structural model that aims to demonstrate fashion attributes helping to create customer value (Jung & Jin, 2016). According to Jung and Jin (2016), such a model can impact consumers’ decisions to purchase slow fashion products. The research framework proposed by the authors is based on the customer value concept. Jung and Jin (2016) remark that a properly planned customer value enables good levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction. The price premium is considered a symbol of loyalty (Jung & Jin, 2016). The authors admit that high prices may create an obstacle to adequate demand for slow fashion and weaken its profitability. Thus, Jung and Jin (2016) argue that customers’ readiness to pay a premium price is a major marketing target for slow-fashion companies. The authors emphasize that people are more ready to pay for the products when they feel that these products are of very high quality (Jung & Jin, 2016). The framework created by Jung and Jin (2016) suggests that consumer value is impacted by the following factors: functionality, exclusivity, equity, localism, and authenticity. Functionality is associated with escalating the advantages of a fashion product. Exclusivity is an inclination towards a unique product value. Equity is concerned with the customers’ desire to participate in fair trade and decent working conditions for the product creators. Localism is connected with creating products from the materials pertaining to a particular area or by craftsmen living in a particular area. This principle enables to create a limited number of exclusive products. Finally, the authenticity factor presupposes the buyers’ disposition to own things created by traditional craftsmen methods rather than machine-made (Jung & Jin, 2016). Jung and Jin (2016) argue that a consumer who is interested in the factors mentioned above is more likely to appreciate the customer value of the slow fashion industry.

Chan and Wong (2012) investigate the consumption side of the eco-fashion supply chain. The authors define eco-fashion as the kind of clothing which is created and produced to increase the advantages for people and society and eliminate the negative environmental influences (Chan & Wong, 2012). Chan and Wong (2012) analyze the product-related (PRAs) and store-related attributes (SRAs) of sustainable fashion. PRAs are such features as the design of a product, its price, and quality. SRAs are the features of a shop observed by the customers: the store’s accessibility, environment, ethics, and design (Chan & Wong, 2012). Both product- and store-related features assist fashion consumers by satisfying their diverse requirements such as psychological, emotional, and psychical. Thus, PRAs and SRAs are considered to be the crucial determinants of eco-fashion consumption decisions (ECD) (Chan & Wong, 2012). As noticed by Chan and Wong (2012), the customers’ ECD is rather complicated. Fashion consumers do not tend to buy eco-fashion products even though they have a positive disposition to environmental friendliness. Chan and Wong (2012) argue that there is an “attitude-behavior gap” between the customers’ interest in sustainability and their ethical consumption behavior. People’s fashion consumption conduct differs from decisions in other spheres. For instance, food choices are made more thoroughly as food consumption directly impacts a person’s health. Thus, since purchasing clothes does not show immediate outcomes for the people, they dedicate less time to considering the ethics of their choices in this sphere (Chan & Wong, 2012). The reasons for eco-fashion consumption are mostly concerned with the products’ features and the SRAs: people are willing to buy eco-friendly clothes only if the products’ attributes are favorable in the aspect of fashion trend expression (Chan & Wong, 2012).

Carmina Campus

Carmina Campus is a small-scale company that started as an experiment but gained a reputation of a reliable enterprise with many customers in different parts of the world. The project is an excellent example of how the principles of ethics and sustainability can be successfully applied in the fashion industry (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Though the company is young and not very big, its business model allows it to have a strong position in the fashion world increase its popularity by winning more and more consumers through its ethic and aesthetic approaches

The background of Ilaria Venturini Fendi and Carmina Campus

Carmina Campus is an Italian company presenting some of the greatest modernization principles in fashion ethics and sustainability (Mukai, 2009). As Mukai (2009) remarks, the exclusive bags produced by the company bring the project a steady success and fame in the business world. What started as an experiment has grown into a powerful and highly productive enterprise illustrating how well sustainability works in the fashion industry.

The founder of the project is Ilaria Venturini Fendi (Mukai, 2009). The design believes that her brand’s popularity is not merely an answer to the trend. Mukai notes that Venturini Fendi emphasizes the significance of sustainability and ethics in every aspect of modern life: food production, energy resources, hospitality, and agriculture. Venturini Fendi used to work for a highly prestigious Fendi fashion house, but wanted to resume her work as a designer and move to a peaceful rural neighborhood where she could “live in harmony with nature” (Mukai, 2009, pp. 29-30). In 2001, she left the world of fashion and became an owner of an organic farm not far from Rome (Mukai, 2009). However, in 2006, Venturini Fendi returned to the world of fashion with her personal label and a new philosophy. The designer’s ideology is based on environmental awareness and social advancement (Mukai, 2009). Venturini Fendi’s project utilized pieces of discarded fabric to create high-quality adornments made by hand. Each step of the project production – marketing, storage, and delivery – corresponded to the environmentally sustainable code of conduct delineated by Venturini Fendi (Mukai, 2009). Along with bearing ecological responsibility, the project was aimed at enhancing the social program (Mukai, 2009).

Carmina Campus started as an attempt to support a university project for enhancing the skills of beekeepers in Cameroon (Mukai, 2009). During her visit to this African country, Venturini Fendi got acquainted with several marginalized women who had perfect knitting skills and created diverse accessories varying from the small adornments to crocheted hats (Mukai, 2009). The designer noticed a chance of implementing her idea of producing “high-end” fashion items from recycled material (Mukai, 2009). At the same time, Venturini Fendi became able to create jobs for the underprivileged people in the town of Dschang. During that visit to Cameroon, Venturini Fendi started cooperation with the women which gave way to the first collection of handbags. Since then, the designer initiated several projects connected under the name of Carmina Campus.

Carmina Campus Projects

The first project presented by Carmina Campus was the STOPFGM bags collection (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The purpose of the project was to draw the attention of the public to the problem of FGM (Female Genital Mutilations). The collection was so popular that it was sold by one of the most compelling experimental stores in Rome – Massimo Degli Effetti (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Venturini Fendi came up with the concept of STOPFGM line of bags when she saw the canvas conference bags created by AIDOS, an Italian NGO aimed at protecting the rights and freedoms of females. What remained as unwanted leftovers were turned into a line of fashionable bags by the creative designer (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Venturini Fendi was rather inspired by her first experience of working with recycled materials, and she was amazed at the commercial success of the project (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The bags disappeared from the stores’ shelves very fast, simultaneously bringing notoriety and support to AIDOS. At that point, the designer realized that her project of Carmina Campus “came into being” (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012, p. 86). Venturini Fendi’s enterprise is not merely an action based on the concept of critical use. The prices for Carmina Campus accessories and handbags are high, and the items are sold in the most exquisite boutiques in Italy and many European capitals. The project’s outcomes are highlighted in some influential fashion magazines (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012).

Another project was launched in 2006 when Venturini Fendi got acquainted with Cameroon women who made handbags from the traditional knitted headgear in combination with embroidered patches (Mukai, 2009). For their material, the women used discarded fabric brought from Italy. The handbags were assembled back in Italy by specialists in the fashion industry. The project was called “The Cameroon Collection” (Mukai, 2009). The items from the collection earned huge popularity, and the project earned a place in the most favored lines in the brand’s history (Mukai, 2009). This project keeps developing. With the help of the International Trade Center (ITC) and particularly its Ethical Fashion Program, the campaign’s features are being reorganized (Mukai, 2009). The reorganization allows establishing a steady production line for timely income and quality goods which are the most significant elements of the fashion industry (Mukai, 2009). After huge social and commercial achievements of the campaign, its founder Ilaria Venturini Fendi started thinking about a wider engagement with African countries. However, she wants to keep Dschang as the basic community (Mukai, 2009).

One more line of bags was called “Message Bags” and was dedicated to the defense of Africa’s female’s rights. Message bags contain slogans that draw attention to the crucial problems of women (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012).

The project grows in size, and after several successful bag and accessory collections such as BAOBAGS and SPORTMAS, Venturini Fendi launched furniture production (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The goods produced by Carmina Campus started to be represented at many sustainability events and even hosted some conferences and exhibitions dedicated to innovation, sustainability, and green management (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012).

The Significance of Carmina Campus Projects

The core importance of Carmina Campus is in its attitude to sustainability. The founder of Carmina Campus does not consider sustainable fashion as merely a way of satisfying critical clients (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Venturini Fendi finds sustainability an inseparable component of portraying brand values. The motto of the project is “creating without destroying” (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012, p. 85). Ricchetti and Frisa (2012) remark that Carmina Campus occupies a significant place both in the fashion industry and in the sustainability realm.

Venturini Fendi made a significant contribution to the reduction of poverty in Africa. The designer emphasizes the significance of providing people with a possibility to earn money instead of organizing charity venues which cannot give the disadvantaged individuals a stable income. The reason why Carmina Campus’ bags are expensive is that the money earned is spent on fair payment to the artisans whose exquisite talent is used in the production process (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). It takes a lot of time to produce handmade items. Therefore, people are paid accordingly. Another justification of the bags’ price is that each piece is unique, and consumers value such things. Venturini Fendi makes it possible for the buyers to get acquainted with the duration of the production process by supplying each bag with the information about the amount of time spent on making it (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). This principle of transparency makes Carmina Campus different from other producers. While many enterprises tend to conceal the information about their materials and production process in order to avoid the consumers’ disapproval, Carmina Campus emphasizes its environmental friendliness and support of disadvantaged people by indicating the hours of work and materials used (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The fact that the bags are made of recycled materials raises the customers’ interest in buying them. The list of the materials is extensive and diverse: computer keyboards, bottle tops, shower curtains, and many other unique pieces are engaged in the process of the bag creating. Each bag’s label, just as the bag itself, is one of a kind. The labels are customized and written by hand and are like “identity cards” for the products they accompany (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012, p. 87).

Another asset of Carmina Campus projects is that they evoke consumer awareness in the buyers. Modern fashion design collections sometimes do not correspond to the customers’ social and environmental awareness. People no longer put luxury in the first place. They want the items they buy to be eco-friendly and send a message of sustainability. The approach of Carmina Campus is focused on the culture of sustainability and thorough stylistic research (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The mechanism of creating items is based on researching the stylistic and aesthetic capacity of reused materials. The production incorporates various material combinations and, as a result, is time-consuming. People involved in the production process have high skills and an excellent degree of creativity along with the desire to experiment (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The more insufficient and simple the materials are, the more imagination while combining them is engaged. In this way, Carmina Campus projects support sustainability and provide their clients with unique products at the same time. The bags are permanent, and even though there is a seasonal division, they are not purchased or worn strictly in one period of the year. The concepts of originality and novelty presented by Carmina Campus delineate the company’s distribution line: it is focused on concept stores rather than big chain department stores (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Carmina Campus products are represented at various fashion fairs and fashion week events, which enables the project to receive more notoriety and promotion.

The materials utilized by Carmina Campus present another crucial feature of the project. The company puts emphasis on reusing things instead of recycling them (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). Reusing does not require any additional energy consumption, which reiterates the project’s concept of sustainability. Using old items to create the new ones gives a chance for creativity combined with energy-saving. Sometimes, the companies which have unnecessary leftovers even ask Carmina Campus to use them instead of merely turning them into rubbish. In such a way, both organizations benefit. If at the beginning of the project, Venturini Fendi had a limited need for materials, now she is considering using the items donated by the customers who want to give new life to old things (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012).

Having a sustainable approach on its basis, the company needs to evaluate every collection choice, since there is an ample variety of problems in the modern world that may be covered by sustainable campaigns (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). For instance, the campaign in Kenya has a motto “not charity, just work” (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012, p. 91). Venturini Fendi emphasizes that women from impoverished regions in Africa need to be given a chance to earn money. In 2009, the bags created in Kenya were presented to the First Ladies who attended the G8 summit in Aquila (Ricchetti & Frisa, 2012). The women are free to choose which motifs and messages they want to put on the bags they are making. Therefore, Carmina Campus does not limit its efforts to merely protecting the environment by reusing the materials. It is performing another rather significant function – it gives disadvantaged women a chance to work and earn their living.

Finally, a huge contribution made by Carmina Campus project is made by encouraging various designers to join the sustainability in fashion and support the impoverished women by giving them workplaces. Such notorious corporations as Walmart and Coop Italia, as well as famous designers Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, joined the Carmina Campus initiative to support African women (Mukai, 2011). These organizations and fashion house owners give people work and guarantee a proper reward for the job they are doing. Their major endeavor is not to promote ethnic design but rather to give an opportunity to reach something for the people who need it most.


The current ecological situation on the planet is dangerous and apt to cause an adverse impact on people and the environment. Because of this, more and more people are getting involved in sustainable development. Principles of sustainability and eco-friendliness are employed in every industry. Fashion designers also joined the movement dedicated to saving the planet for future generations. They are trying to create organic materials, produce less carbon emission, and help people from developing countries by employing them. The modern Five-R framework for sustainability in fashion has been developed. It incorporates such phases as re-design and re-imagining, reusing, reducing, and recycling. With people’s growing environmental awareness, designers tend to alter their approaches to the production to reach their potential customers. Carmina Campus is an excellent example of how sustainability can be implemented in fashion design. Initiated by Ilaria Venturini Fendi in 2006, the campaign has organized several successful projects incorporating sustainable goals. Not only does the Carmina Campus act in accordance with eco-friendly objectives but it also encourages other designers and corporations to follow its example. With a growing number of fashion organizations joining the sustainability projects, the planet has a chance for a better future.


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Work Cited

"Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability." IvyPanda, 17 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/carmina-campus-project-and-fashion-sustainability/.

1. IvyPanda. "Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability." September 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/carmina-campus-project-and-fashion-sustainability/.


IvyPanda. "Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability." September 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/carmina-campus-project-and-fashion-sustainability/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability." September 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/carmina-campus-project-and-fashion-sustainability/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Carmina Campus Project and Fashion Sustainability'. 17 September.

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