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07 / 04 / 2022
Sustainability in the making: Lenzing Group and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto collaborate to bring together art, know-how, commitment and innovation
07 / 04 / 2022
Sustainability in the making: Lenzing Group and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto collaborate to bring together art, know-how, commitment and innovation
  • The virtuous partnership, initiated back in 2019, keeps championing the interweaving of art and supply chain in the name of responsibility and respect.
  • Multiple are the collective projects that see the two realities’ joint purpose come to life, involving a multitude of visionary creative talents, “positive thinkers”, as well as pioneering platforms and brands.
  • Lenzing’s TENCEL™ branded fibers prove to be the ideal ingredient of this fashion paradigm in full connection with the planet: made of cellulose from wood, they are biodegradable and compostable and manufactured through a production process that mirrors the circular concept of nature itself, with water and chemicals that are reused over and over, and re-circulated within the system.

7 April 2022 – A common ground of shared values and two, complementary approaches that enrich one another: this is the essence of the collaboration between Lenzing Group and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, aimed at fostering a sustainably aware future.

While looking to place art in direct interaction with the different sectors of society, and especially with fashion and the different processes and dynamics of the textile value chain, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto found a perfect match in Lenzing’s commitment to evolving business in an innovative and far-sighted way.

An Austrian-based company that has focused on fibers for more than 80 years, Lenzing took to heart its ecological footprint long before the word sustainability was even coined, let alone applied as a concept. Its priority has been, from its very start, to produce fibers for many sectors (fashion, beauty care, cleaning, hygiene and home textiles) in a sustainable way. Each Lenzing product is made of cellulose from wood, a renewable natural resource, coming only from certified sustainable sources. An important characteristic of cellulose is its biodegradability and compostability: at the end of their life cycle, cellulosic fibers can re-enter the ecosystem and create a closed-loop production process, mirroring the circular concept of nature where water and chemicals are re-used over and over, and re-circulated within the system.

TENCEL™-branded fibers, dedicated to a variety of highly specialized applications, are a leading protagonist of the textile production chain, appreciated for their outstanding characteristics – softness, smoothness, luxurious shine and flow – and feature in many of the most sustainable collections in the world. A selection of pioneering technologies that cater for TENCEL™ branded fibers have therefore been under the spotlight throughout the collaboration with Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto:

  • TENCEL™ Lyocell fiber with REFIBRA™ technology, using cotton textile waste and wood pulp as the feedstock for cellulosic fibers, creating a circular solution;
  • TENCEL™ branded fibers with Indigo Color technology, infusing pigment into fibers directly during the spinning process;
  • TENCEL™ Luxe branded Lyocell filaments, providing superior aesthetics, performance and comfort to be the perfect partner of other noble fibers such as silk, cashmere or wool;
  • TENCEL™ branded Lyocell fibers, offering carbon-zero CarbonNeutral®-certified products by Natural Capital Partners;
  • TENCEL™ Modal fibers with Eco Clean technology, bringing totally chlorine-free-bleached TENCEL™ Modal fibers to the textile industry.

In their shared desire to advance a genuine sustainable agenda for fashion as a whole, these two realities started a common journey already in 2019, when Lenzing chose to partner in multiple initiatives promoted by Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, and in 2022 continues to embrace this cause through several touchpoints which have taken place in the past few months, for example the recent activations during FILO Milano, White Milano and the exciting collaboration with BMW (see below).

From the very beginning we have immediately felt a strong connection with Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto as we completely agree on what the backbone of tomorrow’s fashion should be: sustainability. When this becomes intertwined with art, philosophy, innovation, business culture, it shows all its effectiveness with regards to the actual world and this is the only way to not only talk the talk, but really walk the walk, together with the talents and designers that will lead the change in the present and in the future”, says Carlo Covini, Business Development Manager Italy & Switzerland for Textiles – Lenzing. “We cannot wait for the next initiatives that will see us together”.

“The Third Paradise is a myth that can be pursued if we set out with others along the road that forms before us when we combine different, or even conflicting (or supposedly so), disciplines, areas of expertise and even interests. When economics and ecology meet along this road, businesses are created that are good for the planet at the same time function as economic and productive enterprises. Lenzing is one of them, and walking together with them towards the Third Paradise is already part of the result we aspire to: opening up spaces for co-creation and continuous learning for the common good, for the good life” explains Paolo Naldini, Director of Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto.

Some of the key projects resulted from the collaboration


Bringing artistic research to question the different processes constituting the textile production chain, CirculART is meant to be the starting point of a new path aimed at finding a balance between business, society and nature. The artists taking part – Laura Harrington, Silvia Giovanardi, Juan Manuel Gomez, Emanuele Marullo for edition I, and Silvia Giovanardi, Ryts Monet, Giulia Pellegrini and Marcello Pipitone for edition II – created original works of art which are new design paradigms based on circular economy and ethics. These aim at inspiring not only the textile industry, but all the productive sectors, to realign their activities with the ultimate promise of doing business: to respond to humanity’s real needs. Various creations were made with fabrics enhanced by TENCEL™ fibers.

CirculART I and II

UNIDEE-University of Ideas and its Accademia

UNIDEE-University of Ideas is Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s program of artists’ residencies for art and social transformation. The program, founded by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1999, is open to artists and professionals from all over the world who reside at Cittadellarte for a certain period of time. April 2019 saw the official birth of Cittadellarte’s Accademia UNIDEE, the only academy focused on the development of designers of change and social transformation through an educational offer that will eventually cover a whole cycle of academic studies. Lenzing takes part in this project becoming a unique source of research and training for the students, making its innovative TENCEL™ branded fibers available as one-of-a-kind case study.

Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T.

Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T. (Better, Ethical, Sustainable, Think-tank) is the operative workshop dedicated to sustainability in the fashion supply chain, from raw materials to design, from production to education (with the scientific advice of Tessile e Salute). The collective was formed drawing inspiration from the thought of Michelangelo Pistoletto, the visionary pioneer of current topics linked to the complex issue of sustainability, which art conveys to all sectors of the social fabric.

Fashion B.E.S.T. x YOOX: MOTHER EARTH collection

A limited edition capsule collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts presenting a unique printing inspiring to “Connect, Create, Unite”, made with TENCEL™ fibers with REFIBRA™ technology. Entirely produced in Italy, this was an exclusive project celebrating love for nature.

Collaboration with White Milano

Different editions of White Milano have been the opportunity to present a variety of installations carrying the message of Pistoletto’s Third Paradise, which is a reformulation of the mathematical symbol for infinity where the two opposite circles represent nature and artifice, the central one is the conjunction of the two and represents the womb of rebirth.

White Milano – Two activations, WSM FASHIONREBOOT and CHANGING ROOM.

Then, on the occasion of the Spring-Summer 2022 edition of the Milan fashion week, the collective presented the capsule collection "ONE LOOK – a collection of uniqueness", with shirts and trousers sets designed to convey different expressions of sustainability. Several types of fabrics have been used for the project, including textile innovations made with TENCEL™ fibers with REFIBRA™ technology..

On March 9, 2022, an exciting collaboration with BMW saw Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T. and White playing an active role during the presentation of the electric BMW i4, with a catwalk showcasing a selection of garments realized by Fashion B.E.S.T. designers, including pieces enhanced by TENCEL™ fibers.

BMW i4 presentation with Olga Pirazzi and Tiziano Guardini

Initiatives at FILO Milano

Across different editions of the FILO tradeshow, Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T. set up a special installation: a suspended Third Paradise with yarns coming down for visitors to interact with, along with an exhibition of CirculART edition II including creations made with fabrics containing TENCEL™ fibers.

The talented designers who took part in the projects:

Fabrizio Consoli / Silvia Giovanardi / Tiziano Guardini / Edoardo Iannuzzi / Yekaterina Ivankova / Francesca Mitolo / Flavia la Rocca / Bav Tailor / Matteo Ward / Laura Harrington / Juan Manuel Gomez / Emanuele Marullo / Kidsofbrokenfuture / Juan Carlos Gordillo Arana / Laura Meijering / Ryts Monet / Giulia Pellegrini / Marcello Pipitone.

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