A start-up gives marble a new lease of life: Fili Pari converts production waste into a performing, comfortable fabric, while exploiting the made in Italy skills of a new supply chain.
Fili Pari is the name of a start-up organised by Alice Zantedeschi and Francesca Pievani, two young under 35 entrepreneurs. Their collaboration started in the Design classroom at Politecnico di Milano within the Fashion System Design module, where they both graduated. They are both fond of research and innovation, a passion they share.
The result is a number of fabrics enriched with marble dust, developed for the Textile Industry. An alternative nobody had thought about before, that offers an opportunity to exploit production waste of the marble supply chain: a treasure that, if not made use of, could convert itself into a dangerous polluting agent. Furthermore, marble quarries are a resource in our country, suffice to think of Italian art history; why not connect the territory, a material, research and Fashion?
«Our project originates from our wish to combine innovative research, design and sustainability» the brand founders state. «We feel very close to the sustainability and circular economy issue; we noticed several start-ups following this path, both in Fashion and in other Industries as well. On our side, we put our willingness, interest and attention to explore different kinds of stones to consider various applications of marble dust. Obviously, this decision taps into our love of the territory: hence the idea to make use of dust waste of the marble industry; dust is first selected and prepared to become part of the manufacturing process. One should bear in mind that over 30% of a block of marble is waste; it generates very high disposal costs and the need to look for alternative solutions of the issue. We intend to exploit the territory and its natural components, while converting waste into an opportunity within a circular economy. At the moment, we use both marble mined for processing and waste marble: our intent is to be able to exploit a larger and larger number of waste marble types».
The result is exciting and it was chosen as one of the Worth Partnership Project’s first call winners [see box]. Garments in this collection show an essential design that meets the modern taste for a rather sophisticated, innovative ease of use. However, beside aesthetics, that is a strong point of Fili Pari, one becomes curious about the performance of a finished garment that makes marble lightweight and comfortable.
Worth Partnership Project is a project carried out every four years (2017-2020) financed by COSME (COmpetitiveness of Small and Medium size enterprises), an EU programme. The project, which third call closed last October, aims at building partnerships all over Europe among designers, creative professionals, craftsmen, innovators, small and medium-sized enterprises and technological businesses [see Technofashion, October 2019 issue, page 48-49].
Though this is a patented product, we succeeded in obtaining some information.
The membrane is made of marble dust mixed with a special composite to obtain a thin microfilm. The microfilm is laminated onto a fabric, meeting the purpose of use. The result is a waterproof, breathing, windbreaker, flame-retardant and abrasion proof fabric. «Fabrics are tested to assess its mechanic features and behaviour with water and fire. We check the cloth for water resistance, breathability, colour tightness, resistance to abrasion and bending strength; all of it is described in a data sheet. As regards fire resistance, we received a first certification from a testing body and we would like to carry on this study to make the microfilm even more efficient for some industries, like interior decoration and automotive. Finally, our pieces can be dry cleaned without side effects».