Atelier Riforma project was born at the beginning of 2019 within “Talenti per l’Impresa” training course of the CRT Foundation, in which the two founders – Elena Ferrero and Sara Secondo, 29 and 31 years old – met. The goal of their project is to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry by promoting its transition to a circular model.

Elena and Sara did not belong to the fashion world and started with the aim of creating something with a positive impact on society and the environment. They started by collecting used clothes and entrusting them to a network of tailors and designers to remove the defects and make them wearable again. Objective: to ensure that no clothing turns into waste, but on the contrary is used for as long as possible. Atelier Riforma then officially became an innovative startup with a social vocation in May 2020. Elena and Sara did not let themselves be discouraged by the complicated period linked to the pandemic: day after day they created a network of more than 25 tailoring professionals, spread throughout Italy, gave new life to more than 800 items of clothing and made the supply chain more transparent. Among these realities, today there are also several social tailoring workshops, which promote the work inclusion of disadvantaged people such as migrants, ex-prisoners and women victims of violence. To create an even more profound change, the founders have also decided to collaborate with fashion schools, to pass on to students (and therefore the professionals of tomorrow) the expertise of upcycling, that is, to give new life to a used clothing. To raise awareness of the environmental impact of fashion and the need for more conscious consumption, the two founders carry out daily communication and dissemination activities, through social networks and live, with talks, podcasts, videos, interviews, infographics, articles, conferences and workshops.

The startup is now working on a technology that allows this circular model to be applied on a larger scale: they have just started the development of the first Artificial Intelligence technology for the cataloging and sorting of textile waste. This technological project will be called “Re4Circular“. The objective of this machinery will be to direct as many used garments as possible towards sustainable uses, such as reuse, recycling and upcycling. And avoid them ending up in landfills!
By 2025, separate collection of textile waste will be mandatory throughout the EU, and this technology could make Italy a pioneer in the upcoming regulatory change in the sector.

Their dream? Making sure that no clothing, after being used, is transformed into waste, but on the contrary is continuously recovered, transformed and put back into circulation, creating economic value and new jobs.