On 7 July Atelier Riforma launched its first “reward-based” crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, with a final goal of 8000 euros. Two months after the launch, the goal has been reached and exceeded!

Atelier Riforma is an innovative startup with a social vocation, established in Turin in April 2020. Its objective is to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion sector through the circular economy and sartorial creativity. The team collects used clothes from those who want to get rid of them and entrusts them to a network of tailoring realities that, through the process of transformation (called “upcycling”), gives them new value. Once transformed, the garments are sold by Atelier Riforma and can thus have a second life.

The idea for Atelier Riforma was born during the Fondazione CRT’s project “Talents for Enterprise”, a high-level training course aimed at training young people on entrepreneurship. In a year Atelier Riforma has gone from being a simple idea to a startup. Over 2000 garments were collected and a network of ten realities was created, including designers, tailors, sustainable brands and social tailors where people from fragile conditions work. Two collaborations have been established with fashion schools so that students, the professionals of tomorrow, can approach sustainable fashion and learn the art of upcycling. In addition, Atelier Riforma collaborates with two non-profit associations (the ABITO Project in Turin and the Abraham Association in Nichelino), giving them clothing that can be useful to people in economic and social difficulties. Atelier Riforma e-commerce has also been active for about two months now, where you can buy upcycling clothes, but it is only the beginning!
«We want to do much more. – they say – We want to create a traceability system that guarantees those who donate their garments to us the transparency of their destination. At the same time, we want to allow those who buy to discover who made the tailoring work on the garment they bought and understand their positive impact on the environment, generated by buying one of our reformed clothes».

In fact, it is not so easy for all of us today to be sustainable in the way we dress. If we decide to donate our used clothes by storing them in the appropriate bins, we risk the garments being intercepted by the illegal trade in textiles and, in general, the lack of transparency about the destination of the donation discourages many from doing what is essentially a good deed. In addition, the huge amount of clothing that arrives in Africa from Western countries (not donated, but sold) only destroys the local craftsmanship and textile economy. If, on the other hand, we decide to buy clothes made with “eco-friendly” raw materials and processes, we have to pay a lot of attention to “green-washing”, that is the phenomenon for which some fashion brands profess to be “green”, advertising apparently virtuous projects aimed at sustainability, but then in practice continue to produce most of their collections with processes that can be criticised from an ethical and environmental point of view.

In order to create its own traceability system, the Atelier Riforma team has set itself the objective of collecting 8.000 euros, making it its own through its products. It was in fact a “reward-based” crowdfunding campaign, i.e. those who donated will receive a reward in return – corresponding to the value of their donation. In other words: a sort of pre-sale. The team put a lot of money on this campaign. «We opted for a “fixed” target. So if we had not reached the target, we would have returned all the donations».

The results have exceeded expectations! As many as 235 people took part in the campaign, winning a wide variety of products: from a simple guide on sustainable fashion to bracelets made from T-shirts, to notebooks and diaries lined with jeans, to cases and backpacks made from used jeans upcycling, to T-shirts made from the combination of several T-shirts, but also reformed clothes and jumpers made from regenerated yarn. «This great success has given us confirmation of people’s interest in our products and service, as well as the growing sensitivity of people to environmental issues and company ethics. Every gesture has been important to us, we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts and hope that this is the beginning of a long and virtuous journey».