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The secret inner life of the ROSSIS bags
My friend Anna loves sustainable recycling fashion. She already has some vegan accessories from ROSSIS. Last week she bought the new landscape shopper Kate. I inspected the elegant bag with some envy. It struck me that the inner lining says "I WAS A BOTTLE" under the ROSSIS logo. That piqued my curiosity. Why does someone write “I was a bottle” on the inside of a vegan leather bag. I called Francesco Rossi, the founder and designer of the ROSSIS bags, and asked him to explain it to me.
Interview with Francesco Rossi – ETH is calling
Laura: Why does my friend's bag say "I WAS A BOTTLE" under the ROSSI logo?
Francesco: I would like to say something about that. In 2008, Holger Hendrichs, then a doctoral student at ETH Zurich, contacted me. He was looking for SMEs for a CO2 study. I was interested in the topic and so we took part.
Laura: What did the study examine?
Francesco: (laughs) Everything! Our transport routes and ways I travel to producers, trade fairs and customers. The packaging, the manufacturing, the lighting in the shops and offices...
Laura: That sounds very comprehensive. What impact did the results of this study have on ROSSIS?
Francesco: It made us even more aware of the issues of sustainability and ecological fashion. The study gave me the idea of replacing the plastic bags that customers used to carry their ROSSIS products home with something more sustainable. We developed a material (a so-called non-wowen) made from recycled PET bottles. From this we made a thin, reusable shopping bag.
The birth of I WAS A BOTTLE
Laura: How did the customers react to that?
Francesco: They were enthusiastic and asked for other products made from this material. So we pushed the idea forward. We wanted to create a durable woven fabric that is made from 100% recycled PET. And we succeeded!
Laura: How do you make fabric out of PET bottles?
Francesco: The bottles are shredded, cleaned and sorted by colour. A thread is made from these so-called flakes, which is then spun into a yarn. The fabric is then woven with this.
Laura: So is I WAS A BOTTLE a ROSSIS invention?
Francesco: Yes, we registered the trademark in 2010 when we went into serial production.
Laura: Does that mean that the PET recycling material and later the brand I WAS A BOTTLE emerged from the cooperation with the ETH in 2008?
Laura: Then there is something to celebrate this year! Not every company can claim 15 years of recycling fashion. How is ROSSI celebrating this event?
Francesco: With our customers, of course. With the voucher code Lara15, all customers receive a 15% discount on the Lara bag, which is made from 100% recycled PET, until the end of April.
Laura: Oh wow, that's cool. I've wanted to give my girlfriend a Lara flower meadow for a long time!
Where do you use the fabric I WAS A BOTTLE today?
Francesco: In addition to the Lara, the linings of all our bags are also made of I WAS A BOTTLE fabric. In previous collections we also had toiletry bags, backpacks and even sewing sets made entirely of this material.
Laura: One last question, how do you personally celebrate the fact that you've been making recycled fashion for 15 years?
Francesco: (laughs) I develop new models that have an even higher percentage of recycling. My goal is to have an elegant and stylish bag in the collection in two years, made from 80% recycled material.
Laura: What a final word! Thank you for this interview.