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What does the famous' "Made in Italy’’ truly mean? Is ‘Made in Italy’ synonymous to ’locally made’ and does that mean it is sustainable?

When most of us see a garment with the label ‘Made in Italy’, we think it was 100% made in Italy, from start to finish and with Italian products. However, that is seldom the reality. Often the materials are not Italian, the workers are illegal or some, if not most, of the product is made abroad. 


Prato, at the heart of Tuscany, has always been a center in Italy for the production of high quality textiles. However, for centuries these businesses were family owned by artisans and other skilled workers.  As soon as high street and fast fashion retailers were born, everything about the textile industry changed, and almost all the traditional businesses have been replaced. In Prato today, we can now see that more than 5,000 businesses are manufacturing cheap and low-end fashion garments made out of imported materials, and to be sold and exported for cheap all around the world.


We at RISA want to reclaim the renowned Made in Italy label to revolutionise it into a sustainable system. In doing so, we consider the narration through evidence-based examples to be essential.

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