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A Mindful Relationship with Nature

Sustainable Thinking Exhibition by Salvatore Ferragamo

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung

我們做每一件事情,都有其代價。買一件衣服、喝一口瓶裝礦泉水,背後的生產、運輸,甚至是掉棄之後,都存在著我們必須面對與承擔的代價。千言萬語也不及一個個令人膽顫心驚的畫面,曾經在大嶼山的海灘上看到各式各樣的垃圾,無論有多少人、花多少時間執拾,無窮無盡的膠袋、牙刷、包裝紙、瓶瓶罐罐等還是會隨著海浪拍岸而來;看著旁邊的水牛在紅樹林裡吃著被廢膠纏繞著的樹葉,深深感受到我們昨天掉棄的,在不久的未來,還是會走回我們的面前。

近幾十年的環境污染加劇,令我們不得不正視及提出不同的解決方案。時裝業為世界上第二大污染的行業,水污染、勞工權益及燒毀過季衣服等浪費的問題都為人所詬病;部分時裝品牌率先提出可持續性的思考模式和產品,例如Vivienne Westwood主張「Buy less, choose well, make it last」,並呼籲停止購買時尚新品至少六個月、Stella McCartney採用二手T-shirt和過季衣服改造成新的系列,連速食時裝品牌H&M也推出Conscious系列,利用回收物料和水果等可持續物料製衣。由此可見,可持續發展的模式是服裝業必須要思考的一大命題。

Everything we do has a price to pay. A piece of clothing, a bottle of water… all these things come with a price at the process of production, transportation and even disposal. The scary images like rubbish floating in the ocean and landing on Lantau Island perhaps speak more than words. Regardless of how much effort human spend on picking up the trash, there are still numerous plastic bags, toothbrushes, plastic wraps, bottles and cans pushed onto the shore by the sea wave. Cattles are standing among mangrove eating leaves bound by plastic waste. The waste we disposed of would not go away, they would just end up becoming part of our lives.

Our world has become increasingly polluted in the past few decades. There is an urgency to look at the question with utmost seriousness and to seek for a solution. Fashion is one of the major polluting industries in our world. Problems arising from the industry including water pollution, exploitation of labor and the irresponsible disposal of out-of-season clothing have always been heavily criticized by the general public. As a response to this criticism, some fashion brands began to propose a sustainable business model and products. Just to name a few examples, Vivienne Westwood has proposed to “Buy less, choose well, make it last” and urged consumers to stop shopping for at least six months, Stella McCartney has launched an upcycled collection made of secondhand t-shirts and out-of-fashion clothing, even the fast-fashion brand H&M has joined the initiative to launch the Conscious collection that is made of upcycled material and sustainable materials like fruits. These examples are obviously evidence of the unavoidable need for the fashion industry to focus on sustainability.

Salvatore Ferragamo於意大利佛羅倫斯的博物館舉行「Sustainable Thinking」展覽,正是由時裝的角度出發,探索可持續發展的可能性。展覽分為兩大範疇,自然、回收和創新的材質運用及重新發掘傳統的手工藝。「可持續性」一詞來自於聯合國環境與發展世界委員會於1987年發表的《布倫特蘭報告》:「在不折損後代滿足需求的能力的前提下,滿足當下需求的發展。」品牌自1927年創立以來,一直對不同材質進行研究,了解並巧妙地運用麻、玻璃紙和魚皮等前衛材質來製作服飾,並運用古老工藝打造的裝置展現了回收利用的藝術,在藝術品、材質和生態中找到了最佳的平衡。

「Sustainable Thinking」展覽共有十個主題展廳,其中有趣的展品包括有1930至50年間所創作的鞋履。鞋匠出身的品牌創辦人Salvatore Ferragamo於經濟蕭條的二戰期間,不受資源匱乏的影響,利用樹皮、魚皮和包裝糖果的玻璃紙等創作鞋履;近年品牌更以先進科技把廢棄服飾轉化成高性能的產品,發揮無窮創意和體現了循環再造的精神。

The Sustainable Thinking exhibition by Salvatore Ferragamo in their museum in Florence has clearly demonstrated the brand’s effort in exploring the possibility of sustainable fashion. The exhibition has two major topics of discussion — the use of natural, upcycled or innovative material, and the re-examination of traditional craftsmanship. “Sustainable development” was first defined in 1987: Brundtland Report as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Ever since the brand was founded in 1927, Salvatore Ferragamo has dedicated to researching and analyzing various materials. On one hand, they were a pioneer of using linen, cellophane and fishskin in their production, on the other hand, they skillfully use traditional handicraft technique to build installation art with reused resources. The brand has seemingly struck a perfect balance among art, material and the ecosystem.

Sustainable Thinking consists of ten sections, some of the exhibits that cannot be missed are the brand’s shoes from the 1930s to 1950s. Beginning his career as a shoemaker, the founder Salvatore Ferragamo was not affected by the limited resources during the Second World War. With a creative mind, he used tree bark, fish skin, cellophane that was used as candy wrapper to make his shoes to solve the lack of typical shoe-making materials. In recent years, the brand applied its state of the art technology to transform reused clothing into quality products. Their various projects have demonstrated an innovative mind and an endeavor in environmental protection.

2018年誕生、以「Rainbow Future」為名的涼鞋,鞋面採用全球環保紡織品標準認證的環保棉作為鉤針編織而成。

Launched in 2018, the “Rainbow Future” sandals are hand made with crocheted organic cotton in layers covered in the same material Certification ISO 14067 Certification GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard.

另外,展覽找來不同的藝術家製作藝術裝置來提醒可持續發展的重要性。如米蘭藝術家Paola Anziche的《自然思考》,利用天然物料編織出懸浮雕塑,在光的照射下,呈現大自然與藝術的和諧與平衡。另外,阿根廷藝術家Tomás Saraceno與生物學家、天體物理學家、工程師和建築師合作,一同製作應對全球生態問題的大型雕塑與裝置作品。最後的展廳把一切回歸自然,緊扣永續主題,邀請了藝術家與新晉設計師採用環保面料製造了一個空間,使參觀者能細緻地了解天然纖維的特性,以及其生產過程。展覽不但加深我們對可持續發展的了解,同時是一趟自我反思的旅程。生活如何能走向永續發展的道路?這才是我們必須要關心的事。展覽期於即日至2020年3月8日在Salvatore Ferragamo博物館進行。

Collaborating with artists, the exhibition is also showcasing installation arts that address the necessity of sustainability. Pensiero Naturale is a hanging art piece knitted with natural material made by the Milan artist Paola Anziche. Exposed under the light, it is a manifesto of the harmony and balance between nature and art. The Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno worked together with a biologist, an astrophysicist, an engineer and an architect to create a massive sculpture/installation art that is a response to the global environmental concerns. The last section of the exhibition invites visitors to recover our relationship with nature and rethink the priority of sustainability. The section showcases a space of environmental-friendly material made by artists and young designers. This space does not only introduce in details the nature of natural fiber and the production process but also remind us of the capability of sustainable development. This is an exciting exhibition, as well as a journey of self-reflection. How can our world move forward on the road of sustainable development? This is a question not to be neglected or delayed. The exhibition is now showing until 8 March 2020 in Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.