Zerobarracento | Storie di imprenditoria sostenibile

Stories of sustainable entrepreneurship: ZEROBARRACENTO

ZEROBARRACENTO is a brand that incorporates circular fashion, zero waste and sustainable practices in its business. In this interview we discuss with founder and zero-waste designer Camilla Carrara their Zero Waste approach and their idea of a fluid, timeless fashion.

NAMA
How did the project start and what captured the attention of industry experts, awards and press?

ZEROBARRACENTO
What makes us stand out is our zero-waste approach. ZEROBARRACENTO starts from the idea of re-shaping (and not revolutionising) the fashion industry values, stepping away from seasonal trends and from gender and age restrictions, and creating a product that can grow with its owner, adapting to their body, style and personality changes.

ZEROBARRACENTO aims at optimising the textile and fashion industry, redefining the production processes and the choices that lead to a new collection. Each single element is designed to achieve ZERO-WASTE. This doesn’t only involve the pattern making, but it is a 360-degree approach: we use single-fibre products to make them easier to recycle, we include selvedges in the models and we avoid accessories that are hard to disassemble. We hope that our approach could lead the way to more sustainable choices: any action we take is, in fact, deeply intertwined with the values we want to embody.

Two pictures of models wearing Zerobarracento outfits

NAMA
Your communication plays with opposites: “0% gender, waste, constraint - 100% made in Italy, transparency, inclusivity”. How did you reach this synthesis of your values? Is there any other concept you would add to your “0%” or “100%”?

ZEROBARRACENTO
0 means zero waste, less pollution and less emission. Also 0% gender. 

100 means 100% high quality, Made in Italy, traceability, sustainability and transparency of the production chain. 

Quality over quantity, uniqueness instead of mass production, traceability and transparency instead of closure. Made in Italy is a choice that allows us to track each production step, working with excellent suppliers, very open to change and dialogue. 

ZEROBARRACENTO doesn’t judge but instead welcomes, includes instead of excluding, doesn’t produce waste and instead gives the right value to things. The brand is based on the idea of creating pieces that could last across generations. A timeless aesthetic, a minimal design inspired by artistic and architectural elements, ZEROBARRACENTO creates design pieces that keep changing, where the materials play a central role and cuts, folds, draperies and soft shapes intensify the movements. Our goal for the future is to be able to scale in an organic way, without compromising on our values.

NAMA
ZEROBARRACENTO promotes a zero waste philosophy that spans from an accurate pattern making to the research for sustainable and innovative materials like Re-VerSo™, Bemberg™ by Asahi Kasei and Newlife™. How do you structure your zero-waste approach, and what are the main challenges that come with it? What is the achievement you’re the most proud of in this field? 

ZEROBARRACENTO
The more complex part is the collaboration with the garment manufacturers: for them zero-waste represents a complete mind shift and finding the right balance and mutual understanding is therefore quite challenging. On the other hand we are proud of our relationship with our suppliers that results in a very proactive collaboration both from a productive and communicative point of view. 

NAMA
How do you combine the Made in Italy tradition with the innovation of cuts and fabrics and your sustainable approach? Where do you start from when you design a new piece?

ZEROBARRACENTO
We want to create products that can accompany who chooses them in their different moments in life. We all change and constantly evolve, but we need an anchor, a security blanket we could hold on to every day. Something to love and cherish, an essential element of our wardrobe. 

In fact, like our body, also our mood and approach to life can change constantly. Sometimes we feel confident, other times we need to feel comfortable and safe in our clothes. I hope that the ZEROBARRACENTO pieces could be passed down from mother to child: in fact, when I wear the pieces I have inherited from my grandmother, I feel safe and close to her. I hope our pieces can be perceived as something more than simple products, I hope that they can feel like warm hugs for each of us wearing them. They are age and gender fluid for a specific reason: no one can tell us what to wear, what to be or what to wish for.

We don’t want to create a finished product, but we prefer to create design pieces in constant change. Made in Italy doesn’t represent a statement of superiority, but is our way to track each step of our production, creating a product that is extremely local.

Two pictures of models wearing zerobarracento outfits

NAMA
ZEROBARRACENTO revolves around the concept of a “silent luxury” and a seasonless fashion that can be passed down from generation to generation. What are your timeless pieces in your wardrobe? What is your recipe for creating pieces that are meant to last? 

ZEROBARRACENTO
Our evergreen piece is definitely the “Luciana”, created in memory of my grandmother. A piece which is elegant, versatile, fluid, easy to pair with both an elegant dress or jeans and sneakers. Coats and jackets are very central in my wardrobe and are where I usually make some investments: they are in my opinion the type of piece which is more distinctive and personal. 

NAMA
The story of ZEROBARRACENTO and its founder and zero-waste designer Camilla Carrara is very much in focus, started with a specialisation in Sustainable Fashion at Berlin ESMOD and winner of many prizes and awards. What would you recommend to young entrepreneurs that wish to start their own brand in the sustainable fashion field?

ZEROBARRACENTO
Always do much research and start as soon as possible to work in a company, to learn as much as you can. I think that personal projects should follow a more structured initial experience.

NAMA
Where do you usually shop? Is there any brand with a similar mission to yours that you’d like to recommend to our readers?

ZEROBARRACENTO
First of all vintage clothes, and then brands that are sustainable and artisanal. We also shop at family and friends sales or at surplus sales if we want to buy something particularly expensive. For example my 2021 purchase has been a pair of high sandals Isabel Marant bought for 90% their initial price during a YOOX sale. The goal is to buy less, buy better.

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Lavinia Siardi

Lavinia has a background in management and strongly believes in the empowerment of diversities. At Nama Studio she is in charge of strategy and business coaching, supporting independent women entrepreneurs in their e-commerce journey.