Italian brand Rifò aims to combine circular economy, craftsmanship and sustainable fashion. Have a look at our interview below, where we discuss the importance of sustainability and the meaning behind the brand’s interesting name:
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m Niccolò Cipriani, (founder of Rifolab) and in my work I like combining the background in cooperation and sustainable development, with the family tradition used in the Prato textile sector. I was always driven by interests such as internationalization, so I went to Vietnam to investigate issues related to social entrepreneurship, micro-credit and professional training. It is through realizing that the clothes marketed in the West, if unsold, would end up in landfills or incinerators, that I decided to give a second life to those clothes that people no longer wear. Thus, in 2017 Rifò was born, a project that produces high quality garments and accessories, made with recycled textile fibers from wool, cashmere and now also from denim, in new yarns from which create soft, fluffy and ethical products.
2. Describe your brand in a few sentences.
Rifolab is a circular brand created with sustainable and ethical production, made in Italy.
3. What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability means using resources our planet gives in the most efficient way so that none of them are wasted.
4. Can you tell us a bit more about the manufacturing process of your products?
We transform old clothes and industrial waste into a new fiber, which is then spun into a yarn that we use to locally produce our own collection of clothes. Our clothes are recycled, recyclable and made in Italy.
5. Where do you gain inspiration?
Our main muse is Nature, as it always teaches us how to be resilient and circular.
6. What’s the story behind your brand’s name?
Rifò in the Tuscan dialect means “I remake”. We chose it because it indicates our recycling activities and our attachment to the territory where the majority of our production is held.
7. What inspired you to create your business? How did it all start?
It started from a job experience abroad in Vietnam where I witnessed with my own eyes the negative impacts of fast fashion productions. Thus, after a discussion with my uncle I thought that I could take back a tradition from my hometown, Prato, to create a circular process in fashion.
8. What are some of the products you have created that are closest to your heart? Please share them with us.
Without a doubt the recycled cashmere accessories collection such as the Marcello Beanies or the Federico Scarves, as they are the first ones we made. I also love our jeans collection as recycling denim is one of the most sustainable processes you can have.
9. How did you adapt to the current situation? What are the challenges you faced and how did you tackle them?
We have always invested our marketing and communication budget online so that’s what we’re doing now. We would like to expand into new countries, but due to the COVID situation it is really difficult now, we are trying to avoid this issue by starting to advertise our brand online in these countries.
10. What made you choose Eco Fashion Labels to sell your products?
We share the same values, so why not? I think it can be a proficient collaboration for both of us.
11. What do you think the near future looks like for independent/sustainable brands like yours?
I think that the near future is positive for brands like our as people are becoming more and more attentive to the stories we can tell.
12. What are the greatest challenges you think sustainable brands face?
I think price is the biggest one, most people would love to have sustainable products at fast fashion prices, but this is not possible. Otherwise we would commit the same mistakes they did.
13. What can be improved in this sector?
I think design, all sustainable fashion brands could improve their image and the design of their collections.
Thank you Niccolò for the interview! 🙂
Shop the Rifolab collection on Eco Fashion Labels: https://ecofashionlabels.com/collections/rifolab
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Written by: Chantal 🙂