Last July Albini Group, one the most significant cotton and natural fibres fabrics Italian manufacturers, inaugurated at Bergamo’s Kilometro Rosso innovation hub ALBINI_next: a think tank born to overcome barriers and explore new frontiers in textile and fashion.

«Our first goal – Stefano Albini, President of Cotonificio Albini, explained – is to identify the issues that will change the natural fibre Textile Industry over the next five years. If our clothes were made only with cotton, linen, hemp, wool and silk until the last century, today there are new textile fibres such as lyocell and natural and sustainable fruit-derived fibres. With ALBINI_next we want to identify the fabrics of the future and new production processes, find new raw materials that can derive from the nature or recycling of other materials, bringing natural fibres to levels of performance that are unthinkable today. This and much more».

ALBINI_next at Kilometro Rosso

ALBINI_next would like to take a look at the future of the Industry, based on the evolution of know-how and industrial and academic partnerships towards new challenging goals in creativity, materials and applied technologies.

The ambitious aim is to create the “Silicon Valley” of textiles at Kilometro Rosso, the innovation ecosystem in Bergamo. The work at the think tank will go in two directions: exploitation, meaning the enhancement of existing capacities and assets present in the company, and exploration – meaning exploration and research, visions aimed at identifying new textile frontiers.

The think tank will implement a series of collaborations with international partners such as universities, research centres and smart companies. It is composed of a team of creative talents, designers, artists, computer scientists, engineers and economists, coming from the best schools in the world such as the Royal College of Arts in London, EMPA and STF Textile School of Zurich, Bocconi University, University of Bergamo and Florence, which has the task of thinking, conceiving and proposing innovative and bold projects.

Once the projects have been created together with the “innovators” – meaning mentors, real luminaries in the different fields – it will be the task of a Scientific Committee of experts to evaluate them and decide which of these deserve to go from concept to product ready for the market.