As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Niccoló from Rifò about circular design and the future of fashion.
What were you doing before you launched Rifò? What inspired you to launch your own label?
I was working for a UN programme in Vietnam, in Hanoi. There I have realized that there was a problem in the textile industry: overproduction. This is why I decided to start Rifò brand taking back a tradition from my hometown: we transform fabric leftovers and old clothes in a new yarn.
How do you think the relationship that we have with our clothing has been transformed since the introduction of fast fashion?
We have lost any emotion towards every cloth we purchase. We use them few times and we throw away. Before quality was the main driver, now it is the price. Fast fashion has made this change and pushes us everyday to buy more and more and to throw away or forget what we purchase.
How does Rifò embody the circular economy?
We start from a leftover and we give a new life to it, we make a new yarn starting from old clothes. With these yarns we make our collection that can be recycled again.
Where do you source your textiles? What are the challenges working with upcycled materials?
We mainly source them in Prato, our hometown. As we do not dye old clothes, sometimes we have problems finding the right colors. It happens that we need to change collections’ colors during the production because that color is not available anymore.
How would you describe the design of Rifò? Who do you envision wearing your collection?
We try to design clothes that can be wear every time and in every occasion. A design that lasts which is not driven by fashion trends. We thrive to make clothes that will never fade in their beauty.
‘Ethical Fashion’ can be a bit of a buzzword. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
We believe ethical fashion is something that lasts forever. We believe that ethical fashion means design clothes which last a lifetime and that are made by people with traditions and skills. This is why we produce everything locally.
How do you give back to social projects at Rifò?
2€ of each item we sell online go to a social project in our territory so we can bound the production to the place where is held.
What do you look for in other brands that you support?
I look for transparency, freshness and an awareness that our resources are limited in this planet.
How can we effectively encourage a slower pace of consumption amongst shoppers?
We do not do sales, for example. We do not do Black Friday, we do not want to encourage overconsumption. People need to buy what they really need.
How would you like to see Rifò grow in the future?
We would like to create a 100% circular production model where people can give back us what they have to throw away and then can decide which cloth we can make for them.