UniCredit S.p.A. Partners Contacts My Pitti
Sustainability at Pitti:
Edition 100
These Wuuls Sweaters Were Built to Be Buried 

Sustainability at Pitti is a series of interviews that celebrate fashion’s climate-conscious innovators. By providing a platform for the designers that put sustainability at the core of their brand, we hope to inspire and lead a wave of change within our industry, helping us all to push for a better future together.

The final destination of a Wuuls sweater is taken into account before the garment is even constructed. In fact, considering the entire lifeline of a piece is central to the brand’s DNA. It provides the starting point for the design and guides them through the entire supply chain process, leading them to the piece’s eventual disposal — done in the least harmful way possible.
If you’re wondering what that actually means in practice, it’s that you could literally bury one of their jumpers and it would biodegrade within six months. Or at least, that’s what Wuuls’ founders Emanuela and Francesco Picchini promise. The “Genderless” collection they’re showing at Pitti this year comprises five fun, colorful, 100% wool sweaters sourced from sheep at Gran Sasso National Park and dyed using 100% plant-derived hues. And they’re all built ready for soil — although they’re so beautiful, you won’t want to get rid of them.

The Picchini’s started their brand in 2019 with a two-fold goal: create responsible collections while preserving the famous Made in Italy know-how. To discover more about their approach we sat down with Emanuela Picchini, the result of that conversation you can find below. 
What is the story behind the Wuuls brand? Why did you choose to launch your own label? 

Wuuls combines the quality of indigenous Italian wool with [the] sapient manufactur[ing of] Made in Italy to create timeless, genderless, and playful garments for people that want to dress well while preserving planet earth. 
Our mission is to realize, in a market full of bad practices, a new way of manufacturing clothes — starting with recycling rather than merely making a sale. Small to medium-sized businesses have always been at the core of the Italian economy through manufacturing products at a much smaller scale but of much higher quality. Wuuls was born from the idea of revamping the true meaning of Made in Italy while changing the industry [via] ethical and sustainable production processes.
You’ve said that Wuuls is “More Than Just a Brand” and its vision is “redefining the rules of the fashion game.” What do these statements mean to you?

We are a network of young people with different backgrounds who want to generate change in the textile industry by integrating all stages of the supply chain, from design to post-consumer life, to keep the value of a product over time and make sure garments do not end their life burnt or in a landfill.

Tell us about the “Genderless” collection. 

Acceptance of oneself should go beyond roles, labels, and social status. Nowadays, being all equal is one of the most difficult challenges humankind is undertaking. Gender fluidity helps us to regain lost self-esteem and a sense of community through everyday clothes, which make you feel comfortable in your skin no matter your gender or skin color. 

Can you talk us through the process of sourcing your wool? How is it grown/farmed? Who does this and where? Why did you choose to work with those suppliers?

For our debut collections, we have chosen to use ancient Italian material in a modern way. We make jumpers with wool sourced from the Gran Sasso National Park in the core of Italy. Traceability and the quality of our fabric are important to us. Also, we are very proud to live in Abruzzo with the Abruzzesi (people from Abruzzo), so we take each and every opportunity to make this region and the local business well-known.

Please can you tell us about the process of how your pieces are dyed and by whom? What are the benefits of this process? 

Since no aspect is too small when it comes to sustainability, we used natural pigments such as Isatis tinctoria and Smoke tree to dye our garments and make them good for the environment and for people. Nine billion kilograms of chemicals are used by fashion every year to complete their products. Eight percent of skin diseases are caused by substances used in dyeing processes.
The production of any new product has an impact. How do you justify your statement that Wuuls “Genderless” collection is “zero impact”? 

We produce at our best but we know it’s not enough! From the moment a company is alive, it will inevitably generate an environmental impact. For this reason, we donate part of our proceeds in order to compensate for our impact on the territory.

Can you tell us about the work you do with “LET’S TAKE ACTION FOR THE BEAR”? Why did you choose to work with this association?

It's essential for us to collaborate with local entities to invest in the economic well-being of our region. Our direct contribution supports the “LET'S TAKE ACTION FOR THE BEAR” project to preserve the brown bear. Support us in achieving an ambitious goal through actions such as pruning 150 fruit trees in abandoned orchards in order to increase food sources for bears in mountainous areas.
What are the biggest obstacles you face as a designer in regards to creating responsible collections?

Design determines 80 percent of the environmental impact of a product. The designer takes on a great responsibility when creating collections that need to reconcile ethics and aesthetics. The designing process starts with the choice of certain materials or the use of certain colors. Some would say it is a limitation to creativity, but I rather see it as a fun challenge to make clothes that are more than just beautiful; they should tell us something about who we are and what we believe in.

How do you feel about the fashion industry’s current sustainability efforts? What change would you like to see? 

There is certainly an international debate around sustainability that needs the voice of small brands to emerge. Transformation is needed and so there are global targets set by the United Nations to achieve sustainable development through everyday actions. The obstacles are still linked to the lack of consumer awareness about the impact of their choices, especially in the textile sector. The moment we buy, we are deciding our future — of our species and planet earth. We need to decide our place, what we stand for, and which contribution we want to bring to history. Choosing sustainable businesses means aligning with their mission and vision. 
Do you have any top tips or words of advice for brands and designers looking to be more responsible in their work? 

Keep always your “why” in front of your eyes. Be patient, results come slowly. Believe in your goals. We haven’t done this our whole lives, but we have our whole lives to do this.

Explore the collections, contact the brand, request an online appointment, and much more.