Startups and Sustainability: Interview with Fili Pari
We interviewed the team behind the all-female startup Fili Pari, which since 2020 has been transforming marble dust into ready-to-wear fashion. Co-founders Alice Zantedeschi and Francesca Pievani talked to us about their project and their ideas about sustainability.
How did your project come about?
Fili Pari was conceived through conversations at the Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano), where both of us attended a master’s degree course in design for the fashion system. The project stems from the desire to create a link between Italian land and the fashion industry: marble is a natural element and a big part of the Italian tradition of handcrafts. It tells a story about Italy’s history and how the country has evolved, and it represents a strong but little recognized industry as well. The name of the company is an anagram of Fripi and Ali, our nicknames. The name translates as “equal threads,” a nod to the textile world and to the overall vision that characterizes the brand.
What was your inspiration for using marble dust?
We aimed to create something innovative, but at the same time high-performing and environmentally friendly. Thanks to innovative technologies for the productive use of marble dust, we were able to patent a material that reuses products and byproducts from the marble industry.
What is your idea of a circular economy?
Our startup embraces the values of a circular economy, combining research and innovation to improve the wellbeing of the Earth and its inhabitants throughout the entire product life cycle. Fili Pari’s purpose is to turn waste into opportunity. For us as co-founders it was and still is important to focus on the resources offered by our planet. That’s where MARM \ MORE® comes in. It is a patented fabric in four different colors that uses dust and pigments created from marble to replace up to 50% of the synthetic elements in the coating.
What is the meeting point between the textile and stone industries?
The meeting point is MARM \ MORE®. Using a patented process, marble dust is mixed with other components to obtain a thin microfilm that can be bonded to any fabric. In our jacket collection, which you can find online, MARM \ MORE® is bonded to recycled nylon. We already have new fabrics in mind to pair with it for the upcoming collections!
Can Made in Italy fashion be sustainable and cool at the same time?
Yes, and Fili Pari is an example of just that: it combines sustainability and style. Each garment is developed under the banner of responsible fashion. The items are high-quality and designed to last, but at the same time fashionable, light, soft, and high-performing. All our coats are fully made in Italy, from the selection of the marble through the entire production chain. We are mindful of the origin of our raw materials and work with excellent companies and artisans to produce our garments and ensure that everything is of the highest quality.
How do you plan to make your mark in the world of Italian fashion, known for its excellence?
Innovation and style are an important part of the mix. From now on, sustainability is going to be a major driver in all sectors. This is especially true in the textile industry, which currently is the second highest polluting industry in the world. We all have to join forces, meaning manufacturers, brands, and consumers must be mindful every day of both the environment and the working conditions of those who produce the garments we buy.
Are you working on a new collection?
Yes, we are currently working on a new collection to be released very soon. It will focus on versatility and meet the needs of the contemporary woman.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any short-term investment rounds planned?
We are currently focused on the new collection, but at the same time an investment round is open and will close at the end of April 2022.