Ethical fashion, what is it?

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I have been working in textile product development for over 20 years, starting in Italy when I was 19 with my father Roberto Rulli rappresentanze (agency). He was running his independent business from home, with my Mom as secretary, his territory was Tuscany (lucky guy!) and after my brother Francesco, I join to help him with smaller customers and trim sales.

I remember that was an healthy business where everybody could make money, fashion trends were easy to follow as we were based in Italy and design studios were next to sample rooms and factories, so every new idea were put in work on real time and adjusted in front of the designer. Nowadays, with technology and needs of lowering the costing, most of the product development portion has moved to the other side of the World and making a nice sample requires a big organization, communication skills and honest factories that doesn't make a cheaper version of what the client requires.

In 1996, I moved to USA and started my new career as sales manager in textile products first and garment production since 2008 together with Said Dib. I enjoyed traveling to China, Korea and Hong Kong but I also developed a deeper critic sense when I visit a mill or a factory and looking at details like: our workers are set up, do they look happy or not, is all clean and organized?

Recently many customers are looking more and more at the eco-friendly or ethical part of this business. In fact textile could be a very polluted, dangerous business for the environment  and especially in China you can see rivers with very strange colors and obviously a big treat to the community that must use that water for other purposes.          

In garment production it could be more the working conditions and the use of kids to be the real social problem. Unfortunately last week there was a very sad example of this with a building collapsed in Bangladesh and several deaths:made in Bangladesh.

I call this awareness Ethical Fashion and I hope that a country like US and Europe can lead the rest of the World to reach a better working condition and avoid tragedies or diseases caused by any production facilities that doesn't comply with ethical rules.

Now that I have the honor to be partner with Roya Mahboob, recently chosen in the 100 Time Magazine most influential people, for his educational software for schools developed in Afghanistan, I feel that more should be done to help countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan to raise their life quality instead of using them as lower labor cost to reach higher margins in our system:  Roya Mahboob.

Here are my 3 keywords that could represent my working career: textile product development, fashion trends and ethical fashion.

About the author


A native of Florence Italy, I moved to New York in 1995 after founding M.T.I USA, a consulting company that specialized in fashion and marketing services. In the fashion business, I have offered my services and expertise to the top 200 companies in the US and Canada, helping them to…

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