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Published: 22 April 2021
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Italian nonprofit will manage Aii’s luxury fashion sustainability project

SAN FRANCISCO (April 22, 2021) – Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), a leading organization for driving scalable solutions for the apparel and footwear industry, has announced Italian environmental nonprofit Legambiente as the local partner for implementing its program to accelerate and realize positive environmental impact in Italy’s supply chain.

Aii launched what has informally become known as the “Italy Project” at the end of 2020, creating a partnership with international fashion brands Burberry, Kering and Stella McCartney, and incorporating a prioritized group of Italian manufacturers. 

Once the commitment was made to establish a platform for Italian manufacturers through which to coordinate funding and scaling programs with measurable Impact, Aii sought a partner in Italy with the ability to provide local expertise and advocacy while overseeing implementation of the program at local manufacturing sites. Legambiente has agreed to take on this role and aims for long-term partnership between itself and Aii.

“This project presents an interesting challenge from an environmental point of view for a historically complex sector,” said Giorgio Zampetti, general manager of Legambiente. “We strongly believe that the realization of this project can bring concrete environmental benefits, and we hope it will arouse interest, given the various positive experiences that have been increasing in recent years that put the environmental and social sustainability of fashion supply chains at the center of the challenge.”

Aii and Legambiente’s approach in Italy will leverage the decade-long success of Clean by Design, a proven approach for identifying opportunities in production facilities to improve operational and environmental efficiency, to provide a comprehensive system that lowers energy, water and chemical use in textile mills.

Initially, Legambiente’s role will focus on project management and execution against an established timing and action. They will also coordinate and grow the program via in-country program activities, such as in-person events, on-site visits and training.

 Meanwhile, Aii will provide quality assurance during the pilot phase of program deployment and closely support Legambiente to prepare for its management role. Additionally, outside consultants will carry out on-site visits to identify improvement opportunities, provide ongoing technical support and prepare reports demonstrating facility progress.

The last year has been particularly challenging for many players in the apparel and footwear industry,” said Kurt Kipka, Aii’s vice president of programs.  “Our partnership with Legambiente and leading fashion brands positions environmental stewardship at the center of the industry’s recovery  in Italy.”

About Legambiente

Legambiente is an Italian nonprofit organization founded in 1980. It is the most prominent and widespread environmental association in Italy with headquarters in Rome and Milan, 20 regional coordination offices and more than 600 local groups of volunteers. The organization seeks to utilize science-based environmentalism to build policies and advocate for change among local, national and international stakeholders and institutions.

About Apparel Impact Institute (Aii)

Aii identifies, funds, scales and measures proven quality solutions to accelerate positive impact in the fashion industry. Aii looks for scalable solutions and best practices that can be applied to the entire value chain. By improving upon the environmental footprint of the current industrial model the key to unlocking the future will involve new innovations of materials, manufacturing and business models. Learn more: