GenovaJeans 2023 brings the jeans community back to Genoa

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The 2023 edition of GenovaJeans took place in the Ligurian capital from October 5 to 8. New-generation jeans were the event’s core, aiming to build the foundations to create a community around this iconic, revolutionary, and always innovative garment. Let’s see what happened.

How was GenovaJeans born?

GenovaJeans was born from a project by Manuela Arata, who is currently president of the organizing committee. The event was produced by Comune di Genova and curated by Anna Orlando. Promoted by Regione Liguria and realized with the support and collaboration of ITA – Italian Trade Agency, GenovaJeans benefits from the sponsorships by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, SMI – Sistema Moda Italia, Milano Unica, Piattaforma Sistema Formativo Moda ETS, CNA Federmoda, Confartigianato, and ENIT – Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo. La Rosa provided the mannequins used in the collective exhibitions.

The evolution of indigo-dyed fustian: that is why Genoa is central in the history of jeans

In 2023, thirty excellences of the denim industry gave life to a circular path, leading visitors to discover the origins of jeans, from raw materials to finished garments and vice versa. The one-of-a-kind experience, in the form of a collective exhibition, was rich in different stimuli and spread in numerous historical and culturally valuable locations in the city center of Genoa, where jeans were born.

Indeed, in the 16th century, in Europe, especially in Italy and France, there were different types of fustian, a strong fabric made with hemp, linen, or wool, often dyed with woad. The Genoese one, distinguished by cotton yarns and indigo-dyed warp, emerged among all these qualities. Sailors conventionally used this fabric to make sails and cover their shiploads, but soon, they understood it could also be suitable for producing almost indestructible workwear.

Genoese fustian started to be exported to other countries and had great success, especially in London, where fabrics were usually called after their origin city, mangling its name. Words such as geanes, jeanes, and, finally, jeans came hence from Genoa.

How do heritage brands represent the jean's authentic and timeless aesthetics?

GenovaJeans 2023’s exhibitors were split among heritage brands, new talents, and suppliers. Heritage brands, including Blue Blanket Division, Blue of a Kind, Diesel, IMjiT35020 by Canova, Incotex Blue Division, Mud Jeans, Pepe Jeans, Roy Roger’s, Stefano Chiassai, and Tela Genova, retraced the history, the evolution, and the best practices of jeans in the Biblioteca Universitaria.

In particular, Diesel presented the garments of its new line, Diesel Rehab Denim, promoting circularity. IMjiT described the high fashion concept, highlighting the philosophy behind its creations. Incotex Blue Division showcased the experimental selection of its collection, which encompasses sustainable fabrics and low-impact treatments.

Stefano Chiassai brought a unique collection revising the now eco-sustainable denim, blending craftsmanship and new technologies. Tela Genova exhibited iconic looks to tell the relationship with the fabric born in the Ligurian capital through recognizable and timeless aesthetics.

New designers make new-generation jeans using eco-design principles

The new talent category was made of new-generation designers and brands using eco-design to create their denim garments, including Andrea Grossi, Gilberto Calzolari, Gimmijeans, Jeanne Friot, Marcello Pipitone with Albiate 1830, Ksenia Schnaider, Patine, Regenesi, The Blue Suit with ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei, and ZERPBARRACENTO. Their exhibition was in the Edificio Metelino.

In particular, Andrea Grossi made two outfits with fabric waste, recreating the traditional effects of washing with an airbrush. Gilberto Calzolari reinterpreted conventional garments with a contemporary design and recovered, recycled, or pre-consumer waste materials. Gimmijeans brought hemp back to Genoa; sailors traditionally used it for sails and workwear. Jeanne Friot presented garments dyed with 100% bio-based indigo and equipped with fake mohair fur and organic cotton from responsible supply chains.

Marcello Pipitone used Albiate 1830’s fabrics to prove how important the collaboration between designer and supply chain is to give denim a new life. Ksenia Schnaider made garments with recycled cotton and dyed them with a technology that saved water. Regenesi brought its project Rigenera i tuoi jeans, in which post-consumer materials are turned into new objects and accessories. ZEROBARRACENTO presented a denim capsule based on pre-consumer waste.

How to reduce environmental impact and recycle textile waste in the jeans supply chain

Finally, the former Oratorio di San Tommaso hosted some iconic companies in the jeans supply chain, representing most of the production steps, including Albiate 1830 – Albini Group, CADICA, Candiani Denim, CIRCULOSE®, Officina39, PureDenim with Bemberg™ By Asahi Kasei, Soko Chimica, TENCEL™, Tonello, and YKK Italia.

Albiate 1830 – Albini Group focused on three innovative projects on natural textile colors, recycled cotton, and paper made with textile production waste with the installation of A new life for Denim. CADICA presented its collection of trims for jeans. PureDenim with Bemberg™ By Asahi Kasei showcased the collection Blue di Cupro, made with fabrics containing pre-consumer materials from a traceable and transparent process.

Soko brought its know-how to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry. YKK presented its innovations for zips and buttons, which concern using biodegradable or recycled materials and reducing water, energy, and chemical consumption in the production processes.

A QR code powered by C.L.A.S.S. (Creativity Lifestyle and Sustainable Synergy) provided information about the garments exhibited at GenovaJeans, their composition, the production steps, and the company values, describing their role in responsible innovation, ethics, and transparency.

Candiani Denim is a partner of GenovaJeans

We at Candiani Denim decided to showcase our COREVA™ stretch technology, replacing conventional stretch synthetic and petrol-based yarns with natural rubber to produce the first compostable and microplastics-free stretch denim.

Moreover, our fabrics were used for the 48 artworks of the project ArteJeans by Ursula Casamonti e Francesca Centurione Boschieri, which were donated to the city of Genoa to create a one-of-a-kind museum.

We have been partners of the event since its first edition. In 2023, the other partners included Camera di Commercio di Genova, Centro Studi Grande Milano, ETT, Sagep, AMIU Genova, Humana People to People, Farmacie Comunali Genovesi, and AMT.

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