Daniel Sperandio (Re-Bello)

on .

INTERVIEW WITH Daniel Sperandio   
(Co-founder of ‘Re-Bello’)

“PRODUCING ECO-SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE ITEMS FROM EUCALYPTUS AND BEECH-WOOD"

The textile industry (the fashion industry) is one of the most profitable and at the same time polluting industries of the Earth. Its annual turnover is 1,500 billion euros and it produces over one billion clothes per year. And the projections are clear…With a 63% increase in the textile production by 2030, it is obvious that this sector will have an ever-greater impact on the environment and on the Earth ecosystem. In this perspective, various initiatives are emerging: they conceive production and consumption processes in a rather different way. One of these is RE-BELLO, an eco-friendly fashion brand that produces innovative and stylish clothing with natural low environmental impact fabrics and by eco-sustainable productive processes. How was the idea of Re-Bello born? Why use natural fibres in textile production? Are they equally profitable? How create and run an eco-sustainable textile company? Daniel Sperandio, co-founder of RE-BELLO, answered to these and other questions. 

Daniel Sperandio. Daniel graduated with honors in Marketing Management at University L. Bocconi of Milan. In 2010, immediately after graduating, he devoted much of his free time to conceiving, together with Daniel Tocca and Emanuele Bacchin, the business idea RE-BELLO.  Meanwhile, he has gained experience in a consulting firm (Tefen Italia) working on large turnaround projects in Italy, Germany, Romania and the United States (2010-2012). He then decided to continue his career at Dr. Schaer SPA, world leader in gluten-free products, where he took the task of developing of a new brand. At the end of 2013 Daniel decides to devote himself completely to RE-BELLO as the idea was, in his opinion, mature to be officially launched.
 
RE-BELLO was founded in Bolzano in 2013 by three young entrepreneurs (Daniel Tocca, Daniel Sperandio and Emanuele Bacchin) with the aim of designing a true eco-sustainable fashion brand in which responsibility, innovation, style and design, merge with the theme of environmental respect. Re-Bello produces total fashion look, man and woman, with exclusive eco-sustainable fibres and is supported by research centers of the most advanced universities.

 

 https://www.re-bello.com  

 
 
INTERVIEW - (August 2017)
This interview was made in August 2017 and published in October 2017 on  www.lteconomy.org  

Subject: Sustainable and high-quality fashion items    

This interview was made by:

Grazia Giordano (writer and co-editor at Long Term Economy).
 
 

Highlights 

  • All the same the material appeared interesting. The idea rose up. Why not merge environmental sustainability with style? …Why the name RE-BELLO? It stands for BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION! We want to revolutionize the world of fashion, that is one of the greatest expressions of beauty...
  • This is the price to pay when you operate with new materials, whose characteristics are not very well understood. We make tests after tests. But I like it. …All this is a big challenge: to show that it is possible to make sustainable, accessible fashion without sacrificing style.
  • Let’s first compare ourselves with low-cost multinationals. Sustainable fashion involves major costs… Let’s now compare ourselves with high-quality brands. There aren’t differences in the production costs.
  • Eucalyptus and beech-wood have many features which make them very attractive for firms and consumers, as well as very respectful of the environment. 1) They have very high yield; 2) they are renewable; 3) no fertilizers, chemicals and artificial irrigation are required; 4) these plants grow in areas and lands not suitable for food crops
  • Now we are in about 250 outlets in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. B2B sales are growing steadily and B2C (online-shop and direct sales) is growing exponentially (+100% in the first semester of 2017 compared to the first semester of 2016).
  • If there are any young entrepreneurs out there who want advice, I always get back to people to email me asking for it. My contact details are available at tomcridland.com.
  • Finally...Let my say…that reducing pollution in fashion is not an option…It is a necessity. Studies (from the Global Footprint Network) prove that within 50 years, we will need a Planet as big as 2.5 Planets Earth if we continue with this path…

 

 
Question 1. Dear Mr. Daniel Sperandio, you are one of the co-founders of the eco-sustainable fashion company RE-BELLO. What made you decide to found it? Why the name RE-BELLO?
 
All started in 2010, when my business-partner and friend Daniel Tocca, who was in the Netherlands on studying, walking on the streets of Amsterdam came across some cloths made of new materials such as hemp and Organic cotton. Talking with the salesman, he discovered the enormous environmental benefits of these materials. However, the style looked completely lacking! Here in Bolzano we would define it as ‘Kartoffelsack,’ that is the typical sack of potatoes.
 
All the same the material appeared interesting. The idea rose up. Why not merge environmental sustainability and style? Daniele Tocca immediately contacted me and Emanuele Bacchin and together we set out to realize it. The RE-BELLO brand was born.
 
The name? It stands for BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION! We want to revolutionize the world of fashion (that, I like to remember, is one of the greatest expressions of beauty).
 
 
Some beechwood and organic cotton RE-BELLO clothing lines
                
                                    
Source: Re-Bello
 
 
Question 2. RE-BELLO shows us that environmental sustainability and style are not a ‘trade-off.’ What kind of difficulties have you encountered in addressing this challenge? Is eco-sustainability only a major cost for your company?
 
Difficulties? We have encountered a lot of difficulties on our path, and many others are on the way. This is the price to pay when you operate with new materials, whose characteristics are not very well known. We make tests after tests. But I like it. I like it as it allows us to innovate, and innovation is part of RE-BELLO’s DNA. All this is a big challenge; it is our big challenge: to show that it is possible to make sustainable, accessible fashion without sacrificing style.
 
Let’s face the matter of costs… whether they are high or low depends on our benchmark. Let’s first compare ourselves with low-cost multinationals. Sustainable fashion involves major costs… Let’s now compare ourselves with high-quality brands. There aren’t differences in the production costs… To be very clear…I’m talking not just about ecological sustainability. I’m also talking about ‘social sustainability!’ Workers’ costs represent an important part of the cost of production in textile companies, and they can vary a lot from country to country, depending on working conditions which in some countries are very bad.
 
That said, sustainability is the cornerstone of our company, the most important part of our DNA. It is the distinguish feature of RE-BELLO, what makes it different from other companies. RE BELLO stands for higher environmental respect=higher qualities.
 
 
Question 3. In what stages of its supply chain and in what ways RE-BELLO is sustainable?
 
RE BELLO is committed to being sustainable with reference to two elements:
 
- ENVIRONMENTAL: we choose materials and manufacturing processes with low environmental impact. We prefer biological raw, recycled or renewable materials with high yield. Likewise, we prefer productive processes of yarns and tissues that are sustainable and therefore have positive life cycles (LCAs).
- SOCIAL: sour suppliers/partners are located in countries whose legislation guarantee fair working conditions.
 
 
Some RE-BELLO’s Eucalyptus clothing lines
Source: Re-Bello
 
 
Question 4. Why use alternative natural fibres like eucalyptus, beech-wood, bamboo and hemp? What are their benefits for the environment, consumers and the company?
 
Eucalyptus and beech-wood have many features which make them very attractive for firms and consumers, as well as very respectful of the environment. Let me tell you….1) They have very high yield; 2) they are renewable (as they grow up very quickly); 3) no fertilizers, chemicals and artificial irrigation are required; 4) these plants grow in areas and lands not suitable for food crops. It is wonderful to say! From the cellulose of these two plants you can create a fibre, then a yarn and a fabric…All with a sustainable closed-loop process.
 
There are many advantages for the consumer as well: softness, comfort, thermoregulation, just to mention some.  
 
 
Some RE-BELLO’s Bamboo clothing lines 
Source: Re-Bello
 
 
Question 6. RE-BELLO took off in 2013. What are the results achieved so far? How do you judge the market response?
 
The market response? It seems very good. Now we are in about 250 outlets in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. B2B sales are growing steadily and B2C (online-shop and direct sales) is growing exponentially (+100% in the first semester of 2017 compared to the first semester of 2016). The new demand for our clothes is increasing and most of our customers remain loyal. However, we are still a small company and the potential for growth is enormous!
 
 
Question 7. The textile industry is now very polluting. How can we make it truly sustainable? Is responsibility in the hands of: companies? consumers? Or institutions?
 
I think the burden is on everyone's head:
 
- Institutions must raise consumers’ awareness. Much has been done so far. But still there is a lot to do. It’s not just a question of making awareness campaigns. Institutions must do more. They must build a stringent legislative framework, so as to make improvement in sustainability compulsory.
- Consumers must abandon unbridled consumerism. They must understand that ‘less is more’ and that, taking into account durability, a high-quality product is, in the end, less expensive than a low-cost product.
- Companies must build capabilities! They must be able to ensure the appropriate supply of products and services for the growing demand of sustainable and high-quality items.
Finally...Let my say…that reducing pollution in fashion is not an option…It is a necessity. Studies (from the Global Footprint Network) prove that within 50 years, we will need a Planet as big as 2.5 Planets Earth if we continue with this path….
 
 
Question 8. What are RE-BELLO’s Future Projects? What are your main market-Countries?
 
Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Holland. These are our main markets. Of course, over the next 3 years we would like to increase our presence in these markets…But we also want to do more…We want to take hold in northern Europe (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) and make our first steps in Asia. Our plan includes both investments in B2B and B2C (online and marketplace) sales.
 
 
RE-BELLO PET Newlife Parka
Source: Re-Bello
 
 
 
 
 
 

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