What is VICENZI?
VICENZI is a first-generation family-owned clothing label founded in NYC and currently based in Detroit, MI. We are focused on providing top-quality tailored garments made from natural materials. To understand our history, read this letter from our founder, Allison Vicenzi.
We are a fully circular brand committed to sustainable product design and services.
As a self-taught designer, I knew I should start with one piece in my collection. A single, rock-solid foundation garment to set the tone for what VICENZI could become. I asked myself “What would the most powerful and beautiful woman in the world show up wearing?”
This blazer is not reserved for those working in an office with a formal business dress code. This is a piece to bring you from the boardroom to the dance floor to dinner at your grandmother’s house.My original production sample has seen me through my best and worst moments – fashion week, Broadway shows, first (and last) dates, street fairs, traffic violation hearings, Easter Mass, tennis stadiums, rock and country concerts, coffee meetings, ER visits, girls’ nights out, podcast recordings, dentist appointments, photo shoots…even to sleep.
You get the point. This is a blazer for going places and a blazer for the everyday woman.
It is structured, flattering, and most importantly, comfortable. We can all address our thank you notes to Mother Earth, as the fine materials in Blazer Nº1 are wholly natural, durable, and renewable.
What is the circular economy? Why is it important?
The circular economy’s primary aim is to design away with waste. The focus is on the sustainability of the product design process: pattern making, raw materials sourcing, minimizing the environmental costs of production and distribution, designing specifically for repair, reuse, and disassembly for recycling or biodegradation at the end of a garment’s useful life.
A “circular” item implies adherence to a fully closed loop system: the item will either reintegrate fully into the business model (through trade or resale) or biodegrade in a natural system. If a business neglects to consider the end stage of the garment – even if they emphasize reuse – they are not properly adhering to the ideals of the circular economy. Read about our circular design philosophy.
Is there anything I should have in mind when I buy clothes to make them easy to recycle?
Recycling is a misleading buzzword; Sadly, due to the production process and rise in synthetic/blended materials, most clothing can only be down-cycled as rags or insulation (but more likely ends up in a landfill despite how we try to recycle it).
To increase the likelihood of your products seeing a full life, start here:
- Choose pure, non-blended materials, preferably 100% wool or 100% linen, hemp or silk; cotton is OK (takes a lot of water to produce).
- Look for quality in stitching, zippers, hemlines.
- Maybe the brand shares if their clothes are dyed naturally (sans chemicals) or garment-dyed (instead of in bulk, which can increase water waste and toxicity in local water streams). Does the company offer a buyback program or take back your previous purchases for reuse?
- Resell your items when you don’t want them anymore to a happy new owner, while creating value and bolstering the economy.
In letting go of things, the best case donation scenario is finding a community or individual in need of what you’re letting go of at that time.
- Look for local organizations such as a church or shelter – are they collecting coats, business attire, or gently worn socks?
- Mass-market donation centers have storage issues, middlemen, and gently worn clothes or anything with damage may still end up in landfills. Donating is still better than trashing textiles, accessories, or shoes. If they do not sell it at the stores, they resell it in bulk to textile recyclers for processing and downcycling.
What else should I consider before purchasing or taking home a garment?
Country of production doesn’t affect the quality of the piece and the conditions under which it was produced. Every brand is responsible for setting a standard of production and monitoring quality to ensure the standards are upheld.
Send messages to brands asking them to share their practices and policies. Check out Fashion Revolution for free, easy-to-use templates.
Which suppliers and producers do you work with?
We only work with textile producers who share a sincere desire to make fashion sustainable, and make local, supervised production viable now and in the future. FPS is a family-owned factory cutting and sewing our blazers in NYC’s garment district. Wool is sourced from the Tollegno family mill in Biella, Italy.
More information about the design-to-production process is highlighted on our From Sheep to Shop post.
Learn more and follow behind the scenes