The partnership between WOMSH and Drop Studio is rooted in shared values and driven by a desire to spearhead a movement towards tangible change that will shape our future. Find out more in this interview between Gianni Dalla Mora, CEO of WOmsh, and Leonardo Ricco, CEO of Drop Studio.
How did WOMSH and Drop Studio come into being?
Gianni Dalla Mora – The idea behind WOMSH was sparked by a need to make a difference. I wanted to do something that was consistent with my vision of the world and the necessities of society. I wanted to create a product that was sustainable, but one which resonated with people and appealed to them aesthetically as well.
Leonardo Ricco – Drop Studio stems from my passion for fashion and particularly for sneakers. Today our team is a lodestar for brands in the fashion industry and luxury sector for its prowess in overall product development, going from initial concept to final sale with a strong focus on sustainability.
What does the manufacture of sustainable circular shoes really involve?
Gianni Dalla Mora – For us, being sustainable means respecting nature, the economy and the people who contribute to its growth. In addition to sourcing sustainable natural materials with a lower impact on the environment, we have taken concrete steps to help reduce emissions into the atmosphere. 90% of the manufacturing activities on our plants is powered by energy from renewable sources, the packaging we use is eco-friendly and we offset the CO2 released into the environment by production operations through LifeGate’s Zero Impact programme. Last but not least, we make sure that old shoes do not end up in a tip by breathing new life into them and using them to surface playgrounds.
Leonardo Ricco – When we embark on a project, we have to be smart and fuse creativity and awareness in the early stages of the process, basically at the time when we translate the designer’s concept into reality. It is essential to bring together aesthetics and ethics right from the start as we work – right from the design and research phase. This is when we consider the final impact of decisions.
Where do fashion and sustainability meet in the middle?
Gianni Dalla Mora – Definitely through communication. The language of fashion is an essential channel which engages people and can therefore impart important messages, like that of respecting our planet. I believe that today both brands and companies have a responsibility towards society to drive change and help people to see that things are possible, facilitating concrete sustainable action and triggering more aware shopping habits in consumers. And this is precisely where our mission lies.
Leonardo Ricco – Design quality. We could define our approach to work as responsible creativity. At each stage, from initial concept to final execution, we must always ask ourselves: do we really need this thing? What impact will it have on our planet?
Sustainable fashion has become a hot topic. There is a risk that it becomes over-exposed and this would have the opposite effect. How do you see sustainability?
Gianni Dalla Mora – We equate sustainability with awareness. It means basically think before you act. I would like each single person to transition from the concept of sustainability to that of responsibility. We have all realised that we cannot go on living this way any longer. We need to seek out new routes on which to travel towards a better future.
Leonardo Ricco – Respect for the environment is a value that allows us to make a difference when we transform a design idea into an actual project. We ease our customers towards a greener world by sourcing eco-conscious materials and producing sustainable certified footwear that is always ahead of the fashion game.
How do you see the fashion world in the future?
Gianni Dalla Mora – The dealbreaker will be people who team up and create common projects. This will be fashion in the future. Brands will only be an enabler. Individualism in fashion will soon be a thing of the past. The time for group collaborations, interaction and teamwork between brands and the community at large is already upon us. Only by sharing will we be able to find new, alternative and innovative solutions together. The development of a sustainable system is only possible if shared by the community.
Leonardo Ricco – The watchword for the market of the future is personalisation. True luxury will be wearing garments and accessories that are sustainable yet express our personality. This is why, when we interpret a brand image, we make sure that our creative activities are underpinned by a quest for uniqueness. We meticulously curate every single detail, from the sole to the laces (label included), so that the final product design is truly unique and unlike any other.
How much importance does your company attach to Italian manufacture?
Gianni Dalla Mora – It is absolutely crucial. We made a conscious considered decision to have a short, controlled chain of production entirely located in Italy. If our products were manufactured in Asia, they would have to travel across the world to reach our market and we couldn’t claim to be sustainable. Sustainability and Italian manufacture go hand in hand because not only are we able to keep tight tabs on material quality and manufacturing processes, we also get to know the people who produce our shoes and are aware of their working conditions.
Leonardo Ricco – All our products are designed and produced in Italy. Italian quality and craftsmanship lie at the heart of our work. This entails investing in know-how, scrupulously curating every single detail, and conducting constant research into green materials, all of which leads to the creation of a product of an artisanal nature, yet one that is innovative at the same time.
What role does research play in your approach?
Gianni Dalla Mora – Sustainable fashion means carefully planning and studying each single material before going onto to the various operational phases. We are not yet able to produce a sneaker that is 100% sustainable, but we try to identify all the processes where we can take action and make our product as ethical as possible. We constantly seek ever-greener and more ethical alternatives to those currently used and our aim is to eventually succeed in using only waste and recycled materials so as to increasingly reduce our impact on the environment.
Leonardo Ricco – Sustainable fashion means planning for product longevity. Everything must be crafted from top-end materials so it can even be worn years later. This avoids products ending up in the tip. Ongoing research into fashion trends and a relentless exploration of soles, detailing and premium-quality materials allow us to offer customers a product that meets people’s requirements and embraces the mood of the moment without ever neglecting the importance of our environmental footprint.
Change is an essential part of your corporate philosophy. What does it mean to you?
Gianni Dalla Mora – I think that change is always driven by awareness. We need to rethink our values. Today’s fashion system is tolerant of waste, overproduction, excessive consumerism and poor quality. Our contribution is to have created a different business model, one which is more inclusive, ethical and respectful not only of the environment, but human beings as well.
Leonardo Ricco – Change always starts with us. However great or small an impact you wish to have on the outside world, it has to begin with yourself. This is the only way to bring about positive change.