Milena Marchetti-Kozlov’s Brand Marchetti Sustainable Goes Beyond Labels, Standards, and Genders

Sometimes in fashion, sustainability can seem like an afterthought. Not for Marchetti Sustainable; it’s part of its core. Marchetti makes genderless ready-to-wear exclusively from sustainable fabrics in Guadalajara, México. The brand’s signature textile art is done entirely in-house and by hand with low impact, water-based inks. And both the fabrics they use and the clothing they produce are made in conditions that support people and the planet. We spoke with its founder Milena Marchetti-Kozlov about the unique process behind each design.

S: What is the inspiration behind the brand?

M: Our inspiration is based on our philosophy: truly beautiful things make a difference.  We are actively committed to using only materials that cause no harm to the planet or the people that produce it. We believe that beautiful pieces cannot sacrifice the wellbeing of the people who make those garments. But, at the same time, we are also driven to show that sustainable and ethical fashion can be bold and vibrant. Our capsule collection is a mix of classic, trans-seasonal silhouettes and unique textile art and solids.

S: Sustainability is engrained in the culture of Marchetti. What sustainable aspects do you implement in your brand and why was this important to you? 

M: When Marchetti was in its earliest stages, we struggled to define precisely what sustainability meant to us. We decided that if we were going to be bringing new clothing into the world, we had to do it in the most sustainable and ethical way possible. For this reason, it was extremely important to know exactly how our fabrics were made and the working conditions provided for those who made them. To us, slow fashion and sustainable fashion must begin with the raw materials used to make the garments. Materials matter.

From our use of GOTS-certified and other recycled or organic fabrics to our commitment to fair compensation to all team members to the entire design process and our adaptable pieces, we do our absolute best to have a positive impact on both people and the planet. 

S: What are some of the unique struggles you have as a sustainable brand? 

M: Being a more conscious consumer in this day and age is extremely complex. Convincing people that they need to get rid of their wardrobe and only purchase our GOTS capsule collection is far from our goal. We believe in a balance of thrifted clothing, sustainable brands, and working with what you already have. Asking people to wear one of our statement pieces with what they already have in their closet can cause confusion for some customers. When basics need to be replaced, we hope you will think of us. Until then, we hope you will use what you already have.  

S: Your collection is also gender neutral. Why was this also something you wanted to incorporate into your brand?

M: When we are asked the question: “Why gender neutral?” our response is “Why not?” Fashion is extremely powerful. It is meant to be about freedom, expression, and empowerment for all. Having a genderless collection is our first small step towards reaching as many people as possible. 

S: Your prints are so unique. Tell us a little more about what goes into creating them. 

M: Our prints are a labor of love in many ways. Maria Palos and I are the two-woman textile team behind Marchetti’s hand-printed and -painted pieces. Our inspiration comes from so many places and painting the fabric is one of my absolute favorite parts of the design process. I see it as my way of putting a unique mark on each and every piece. It can take up to four hours to paint the fabric needed to make just one garment, and I really think you can see how much love goes into the process.

S: What’s in the future for Marchetti?

M: I would love to know the answer to this question! What I can say is that we are extremely grateful for the response we have gotten and are hoping to continue doing what we are doing. Currently, we’re working hard to have more inclusive sizing, and a few other very exciting things. 

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