Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

2020, and once again, Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags are established as a single,  unique and complete marketplace for the volume footwear and leather goods sectors. A variety of business opportunities and a consistent level of internationalisation at the latest edition of the trade fair are enhanced by the greatly appreciated addition of training.  The very current matter of sustainability in the fashion system was at the core, which, alongside the battle against waste, technological innovation, new targets and new consumer habits, also featured within the Autumn/Winter 2021 collections.   

The talk entitled “The sustainability of the leather fashion production chain” by Roberto Vago, director of Assomac – the National Association for Italian constructors of machines and accessories for footwear, leather goods and tanneries – provided, in particular, various ideas regarding the circular economy, which appears to be increasingly strategic for companies and also present in the production processes and design choices of the collections.  

“These days, we need to intervene in the process with the objective of exploiting waste materials generated in the working of leather,” claims the director of Assomac, Roberto Vago, in his talk. “To optimise residual waste, we need to look to technology, specifically geared towards 4.0 industry, making the most of both robotic developments and those linked to information, if we are to understand when to intervene in order to avoid waste.”  

“Today, sustainability is a concrete opportunity to care for our planet, but also an indispensable tool for being competitive at global level,” claims the chairman of the exhibition organising company, Roberto Pellegrini, participating in the debate. “Riva del Garda Fierecongressi is the only trade fair company in Italy to have obtained ISO 20121 certification for Sustainable Event Management, and we promote a zero km sustainable culture: 50% of our suppliers are local.”  

During the 93rd edition of Expo Riva Schuh and the 4th edition of Gardabags the key phrase was circular economy: aiming to reduce waste without sacrificing style. This was underpinned by the collections presented at the fair for Autumn/Winter 2021 where more brands than ever demonstrated special attention to the matter of eco-sustainability, offering a wide range of products made out of recycled and salvaged materials.

Footwear featured a preference for waste components such as rubber and plastic, with soles made from materials of natural 100% green origin, like cork: shoe designs produced with respect for the environment, using ecological materials, aiming to please all tastes yet never sacrificing fashion or elegance.

Likewise, the bags sector also aimed to make the most of waste bi-products of the leather  industry. The products on offer were of high quality, thanks too to the use of traditional techniques combined with a strong level of craftsmanship.   

Sustainability was also at the core of the training sessions which took place inside the ‘Hangar,’ a multi-purpose area inside Hall D which became the place to be for four days, bringing together ideas, knowledge, experience and talks about the future of the fashion business. 

On Saturday, the business event was held entitled “Trends, innovations and eco-friendly fashion in Kazakistan: our vision for the future,” by Irina Nechaeva, head of the Institute for Innovation and Creativity, representative of the Committee for light industry of the national chamber for "Atameken" entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakistan. “In Kazakistan today, we are oriented towards the use of ecological materials with a quality production, by re-launching craftsmanship, always starting out from the idea of using recycled materials,” was how the speaker summed up her talk at the end of the presentation.

Andrea Maragno, founder of the JoeVelluto Studio and Sonia Tasca, trends expert and coordinator of the same organisation, took a look at the relationship between the environment and design. During the meeting, entitled “Responsible visions for a sensed design,” they presented perfect examples that confirmed how design has undergone a transformation, and where the human being has now become the undeniable starting point. “We are facing an important cultural change which sees the formation of a critical thought process geared towards social and ethical innovation, in which the matter of sustainability becomes fundamental, not only specifically as far as the product is concerned, but also from a social and cultural perspective,” maintains the founder of the JoeVelluto studio.

During the exhibition, Enrico Cietta, CEO of Diomedea, analysed the topic of “Stock management as competitive leverage,” starting from the evolution of demand in the world of fashion. “These days, it is important to be more agile when restocking and to improve how we forecast demand by using predictive marketing techniques.” This, according to Enrico Cietta, is the key to achieving optimal management in the procurement of products offered in the sales outlets.  

On Sunday, the day concluded with a date with Vision Lab by Arsutoria” by Carlo Sorrenti, product manager and R&D consultant, specialised in materials for the luxury sector. With the intention of exploring the potential offered by creativity combined with new technology, Sorrenti  presented a range of prototypes featuring a strong sense of originality, both in terms of the use of salvaged materials and also for their design and versatility.   

The programme of technical talks offered within Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags came to a close with “Autochtony,” traditional production chain and innovation,” by Professor Rita Annecchini, Director of NAMI – the New Academy of Italian Fashion and Advisor to the Chieti Pescara Fashion System Confindustria. “The Academy came about from the need to test out the wool production chain from a commercial and sustainable point of view,”  said Professor Annecchini, “Autochtony is a project all about quality and sustainability in the production chain for Abruzzo, with the aim of creating a new generation in this sector, by means of training throughout the central southern regions.” 

The dates for the 94th edition of Expo Riva Schuh and the 5th edition of Gardabags is from June 13th to 16th 2020 at the Riva del Garda Exhibition Centre.  


Diomedea Milan  - Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags Press Office  | Tel. +39 02 89546251 | press@diomedeamilano.it