It's a MUST. Circularity in Focus with Must Had

It's a MUST. Circularity in Focus with Must Had
As we navigate our way through the 21st century, a global pandemic and the climate crisis, it is clear that the fashion industry needs a serious makeover. Sustainability has unfortunately never been a core focus of the mainstream fashion industry but that model must be revamped and now. 
Using sustainable materials and producing higher quality items on a smaller scale are vital first steps. But producing garments with their end-of-life as a fundamental part of their development is a big leap forward.
Cue Circular Fashion.
But what is it? Well, short and sweet circular fashion is a system where clothing and fashion accessories are produced and designed with the next use and end-of-life in mind. The production of an item and the entire life cycle of the products are the focus including the social and environmental impacts and how the product can be reworked after its intended use has been worn through. Circularity is a response to previous models that have been ‘linear’ to date.

 

Small but Perfectly Formed

Thus to kick off 2022 we would like to give you a few fresh updates and insights to these topics.
This year we will be participating in a circular fashion accelerator called Small But Perfectly Formed which is an accelerator program and collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission’s COSME Programme and Fashion Revolution. The program will support us in the research and development of a more sustainable, circular business model for Tizz & Tonic.

It's an exciting opportunity to elevate our sustainability practices and we can't wait to share this journey with you!
Over the year we will participate in workshops and mentor programs ending with a showcase of the final results - what we pitched for our circular fashion idea, well... you'll just have to wait and see. 

 

Brand Crush: Introducing MUST HAD : Rescue. Regenerate. Revalue.

To start our circular adventure we wanted to introduce you to Matteo and his brand, Must Had, who are already focusing on the evolution of fashion by creating value from waste and focusing on reusing, repurposing and recycling fashion. Let's jump to it with this one-on-one interview with Yanna (co-founder of Tizz) and Matteo (co-founder of MUST HAD). 


Yanna: So Matteo you are a co-founder of Must Had. Tell us about the brand. 

Matteo: Must Had is an online platform offering upcycled clothing and accessories exclusively made from fashion industry waste.
The platform hosts a community of “Refashion” brands located all around Europe, and offers them the tools and the services to grow: from the waste collection, through the marketing and logistics, to the online sale.
Must Had is committed to accelerate the transition towards circular fashion, since we strongly believe the priority to make this industry more sustainable is to start reusing what already exists.

We are based in Torino, Italy but our goal is to become the reference point in Europe for what concerns Refashion. Indeed, the brands belonging to our community come from all over Europe. Of course, being a young start-up, at present most of our brands are Italian but more and more European brands will be joining our community.

Yanna: Awesome! Can you tell us more about the brand name?

Matteo: Within the fashion industry, the word MUST HAVE has always been associated to highly essential clothes that consumers must have in their wardrobe.
By coining this common saying, fashion brands have consciously pushed purchases over the limit.
We were born with the idea of fighting this.
By turning have into HAD, we want to highlight the need for a paradigm change where the desire for owning and purchasing at any costs shifts towards responsible choices such as REUSE and REPURPOSING.

 


Yanna: Sounds very cool, when did you start? How did you come up with the concept for Must had?

Matteo: We are three co-founders and the idea of Must Had came to us at the very beginning of the Covid pandemic, in early 2020. The start-up was officially established in February 2021.
The three of us have all a professional background in the fashion/textile industry so we were well aware about the problems of this industry and about the urgent necessity to accelerate the transition towards a regenerative fashion.

The inspiration for our brand has been a small laboratory located in our hometown which has a multi-year expertise in regenerating pre-owned wool and cashmere sweaters.

By getting to know this lab, we were amazed by the level of attention made in each step of its creative upcycling process. Its passion, expertise and know-how have triggered in us the desire of creating something unique and with a purpose.

Yanna: We definitely share this desire with our products at Tizz. Why did you feel like the sustainable fashion market needed a new solution?

Matteo: Simply looking at data, compared to the year 2000, today an average single consumer purchases 60% more fashion items. In the last 20 years the price of fashion has drastically reduced and today the average person wears a garment only 7 times before disposing of it.
Fortunately in the last years sustainable practices started to be implemented more and more by fashion brands, but a truly sustainable industry depends on learning how to reuse what already exists in order to avoid unnecessary new productions and reduce waste.

Yanna: Reduce waste, that is also a big hot topic for us right now too.

We saw that you partner with brands, artisans, laboratories and designers, how do you connect? What is the criteria to become a Must Had brand and where do you get your textiles from?

Matteo: The main and first criteria to become a Must Had brand is to produce fashion exclusively through upcycling processes, following the logic of recovery and reuse. Must Had requires for each and every product to be made from at least 70% recovered materials. We generally connect through social media or word of mouth.
Certifications and other environmental or social sustainability features are obviously an added value.
Not less important, the product needs to meet certain aesthetic and stylistic criteria.
Overall, a brand must show a strong identity, a specific know-how of regeneration, and of course must be consistent with other brands of the community in terms of quality.

Yanna: That's one of our big focuses too, not only sustainability but also quality and style! Fashion is supposed to be fun and a way to express oneself and ones values.

Matteo: Each brand has its own channels for sourcing the “waste” they will give a new life to, such as leftover fabrics, deadstock clothing, second hand, or other wasted materials.
For a few months we have started consolidating partnerships with companies interested in providing their “textile waste”. We connect our community of Refashion brands with these companies in order to facilitate the rescue and reuse of such materials for their collections.

Yanna: Since we are an underwear brand lets talk underwear. Can you tell us a bit more about the upcycled boxers?

Matteo: The amazing upcycled boxers on our website are produced by a brand named Culo Camicia, which literal translation is Butt Shirt. Culo Camicia turns old shirts into boxers, for both men and women.
They personally handpick all the second hand shirts they use for their underwear. They cut and sew them by hand, and turn them into unique boxers. Every shirt they use is a single piece.

Yanna: Oh Butt Shirt! That is great and a very unique idea. Okay Matteo the big predictable question, what does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Matteo: Sustainability is a very broad concept, with many faces and many layers, and for this reason it is often difficult to frame it, quantify it and evaluate it.
For us, being sustainable means respecting and taking responsibility for the environment, our community of producers and end consumers throughout the entire life cycle of products.
Fashion is sustainable when it is conscious, respectful, ethical and transparent.

Yanna: Agreed!
Can you share 3 words that sum up your product's vibe?

Matteo: Craftsmanship, Uniqueness and Transparency.
All our products are:

  • handcrafted by small brands, artisans and designers who put quality at the core of their productions.
  • unique pieces or limited edition since the result of upcycling processes.
  • made starting from textile waste that are carefully selected and transparently communicated on the website product pages.


Yanna: How have you guys been affected by the Pandemic? How do you think the fashion industry will change in the next five years?(Also in terms of the pandemic).

Matteo: Must Had was born during the pandemic so in terms of business we have not been really affected.
That said, as we all know, the pandemic has definitely accelerated trends and the digital transformation, as well as awakened the world about the need for some urgent changes in our society, both as individuals and businesses.
At Must Had, we are positive about the future and we believe big and extremely fast changes will happen in the next 5 years.


 
Yanna: If you could change one thing to make the fashion industry more sustainable what would it be? What's new and up and coming for Must Had? Do you have any goals for 2022?

Matteo: One thing I would change would be full adoption of circular business models throughout the entire supply chain of the industry.
For 2022 Must Had would like to play a more and more significant role for what concerns the recovery of the textile waste to be distributed to our brands. This part of the business is very exciting and can be very impactful.

Thanks Matteo for the introduction and insight to Must Had. If you want to find out more about Matteo and his brand you can check it out here.

Sooo speaking of 2022, what can you expect from your adorable Tizz & Tonic team this year?!
We have a lot of upcoming exciting updates to share and we couldn't be more excited. This will include:

  • Smaller more limited collections
  • Incorporating more innovated fabrics into our line
  • New circular fashion ideas (so be sure to pop online and on our Instagram @tizzandtonic to join us on our circular model building journey!)

2022 here we come

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