Julia Cappucci and Mariel Baquedano
- What is Social Chic? What is slow fashion? How does Social Chic exemplify slow fashion?
Social Chic was founded in 2013 as part of the Case Zanardi project. The Case Zanardi project was created by the Community Welfare Department of the Municipality of Bologna to help promote, “the implementation of interventions and actions to promote job placement of people in conditions or at risk of social exclusion”. For these people, Social Chic is “a place where their skills are valued and valorized”, and the organization believes in their ideas and styles and want to be a platform for them to express themselves. By being creative with fashion, Social Chic also strives to be an outlet and help them to overcome a difficult moment in their life. “After receiving a large donation of fabric and clothes, we decided to follow our desire to experiment and start new projects – and this is how Social Chic was founded. Social Chic is a tailoring laboratory where men and women, Italians and migrants, who come from the ‘weaker sections (economically and socially) of the population, can find a second chance”. Locally, Social Chic often connects with people through MondoDonna’s group homes. MondoDonna connects with other regional and European programs and similar organizations that provide social and financial aid, so Social Chic’s connections expand well beyond this specific network.
Slow fashion is, “used to identify sustainable fashion solutions, based on the repositioning of strategies of design, production, consumption, use, and reuse, which are emerging alongside the global fashion system, and are posing a potential challenge to it”. The main strength of Social Chic is its “artisan soul”: this is a real atelier, where a fashion designer, a model maker and tailors work closely together to create unique and handmade clothes. Each item is handcrafted by our team, starting from the sketch, then paper pattern, to the final “packaging” of the product – in opposition to the general fashion industry, that mostly creates mass-produced items/clothing produced in series.
Social Chic accepts donations of fabric, clothing from fashion brands, sewing machines and more. Not only are the donations locally sourced but so are those who work in the organization as designers and tailors. By partnering with MondoDonna, Social Chic provides an opportunity for those who are skilled in designing and tailoring to take part in creating their own collection. Another way that Social Chic practices sustainability is by producing a limited number of pieces of clothing when creating their collections. This allows them to not only limit the amount of waste they produce, but also allows them to work on the fine details of their designs. Sustainable approach through recycling the donations received. Local production helps the local economy. A major aspect to the slow fashion movement is using local resources and materials.