27 june ‘22
Words by Rufai Abolaji James
Roberto Cruciani is an Italian raised in the historical city of Rome, renowned for aesthetics and style where he developed a sense of fashion due to influences in his surroundings.
As a difference maker, he affirms, “I’m a content creator focused on the many aspects of the conscious fashion world and on showing how a low-waste and plant-based lifestyle makes my life better everyday”. His background in video editing prompted him to kick off his campaigns on Instagram.
“The fashion industry is a dark place, a pyramid where clothes are made everyday exploiting people, animals and the environment at the bottom to overproduce and make big profits at the top.”
The Fashion fair:
being a fashion fair
what it entails
Exploitation of people, animals and the environment is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the environment and resources are being misused, overused and abused. “I would love to see the pyramid being reversed, with people and the planet being at the top. That’s what fair fashion means to me. An industry built on preserving, not exploiting”, Roberto explains.
Roberto insists that producing less and creating items that would be recyclable in the course of production are two great ways to be fair in fashion as natural resources are conserved. Moreover, he firmly believes that brands have a role to play: “I imagine responsible brands doing their part and giving back what they take from nature for real, not just washing their conscience with carbon offsetting projects. It’s a matter of caring, of being transparent and honest and it is deeply related to ethics being equal as profits in the business equation. And that, in a capitalist system, is the main problem, obviously”, he expresses.
Conception of ‘Fashion fair’ campaign
“Maybe five or six years ago I read about the Rana Plaza collapse for the first time and it shocked me. I wrote a post on my personal (and rarely used) instagram account sharing the #whomademyclothes hashtag”, Roberto shares. This information inspired him towards starting the ‘Fashion fair’ project. According to the International Labour Organization, The Rana plaza collapse occurred on April 24, 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh where five garment factories got burnt and slightly over 1000 people lost their lives.
This unfortunate occurrence motivated the need to enlighten people on how clothes are made and conditions of workers involved in the clothing and fashion industry. Robert wrote an awakening post and was applauded by friends and followers on Instagram who were unaware about ill practices in the fashion industry.
Furthermore, as a music lover who understands how music can be a vehicle of information convergence, Roberto’s musical content and ideology supported current sustainability goals. “I spent my 20s playing in many hardcore-punk bands and we always tried to share messages of hope and rebellion, of honesty and care, talking about ditching animal food, and stuff like that (I was madly in love with the Straightedge culture!)”, he admits. Unconsciously, he started practising sustainability by searching for organic cotton T-shirts for merch and recycled paper for leaflets.
Fair fashion: a faction of Sustainability
Sustainability is becoming a gospel evangelised in many industries, including the arts industry. In fact, Roberto describes it as “the capability of our human activities to be connected again to the natural resources we use and to the waste we produce in a more positive and mindful way, trying to re-create a relationship with nature we completely removed from our production of food, clothes and products in general”. He stresses that nature should not be used as a disposable good because it donates a lot to us. As an individual, he benefits from sustainability in his lifestyle and the way he treats his environment and resources around. He reflects, “I make a lot of mistakes everyday, but living with sustainability in mind is to me a constant purpose to do better (which is really different from the constant urge to do more)”. He further states great influence of sustainability in his fashion sense as he prefers second hand clothing materials as well as shirts without logos and quotes.
Roberto Cruciani, like most Italians, draws fashion consciousness from the streets of Rome where he has been inspired due to the great underground culture of the past 30 years. He also get inspirations from “the punk rock and hardcore scene to hip-hop and graffiti, from club and rave culture to the looks of the movie “La Haine” by Mathieu Kassovitz”.
His style also extends to sneakers which are his favourite pairs of footwear.
Aside from fair fashion, Roberto has an undying love for food. He affirms, “I am always thinking about food and what/where to eat at every moment of the day. I think the switch to a plant-based lifestyle is one of the most useful things we can do to lower down our personal carbon emissions because we eat three times a day everyday”. This is also shown on his Instagram account where recipes are regularly posted.
His followership of sustainability is evident in his content which involves plainly plant based food, sparking several reactions from non vegans. He had to lay more emphasis on fair fashion because he has found a new way of life which deems fit to be beneficial to him, the ecosystem and others as he continues on the journey to propagate the subject matter.