The context

With 300 million workers employed throughout the supply chain, the clothing industry represents one of the main production and employment sectors on a global level. In the last 15 years this chain has undergone profound changes: it has acquired greater geographical extension and complexity, the number of items of clothing produced has almost doubled, their average usage time has decreased more and more. 

This change is linked to the explosion of the “fast fashionphenomenon, that is, the production and sale of numerous collections in one year at reduced prices for mass consumption. This model is unsustainable, both from a social and environmental point of view. Indeed, it is estimated that the clothing industry is the second most exposed to the risk of modern forms of slavery, with 15% of cases of forced labor identified worldwide. 

In particular, women, widely employed as workers, suffer from violations ranging from violence and harassment in the workplace to gender pay discrimination. 

The textile supply chain also exerts enormous pressure on natural resources, using vast quantities of water, non-renewable resources and harmful chemicals, and emitting 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent every year. 

In the last decade, awareness of this unsustainability has led to the development of some innovations in the production processes, with a view mainly to circularity, saving resources and extending the product life cycle. However, this is not enough: it is necessary to have a more rapid and extensive impact on the very foundations of the business model, in particular on excessive consumption and production, through systemic change.

Logo di progetto cambio moda mani tese 2019

Regione Lombardia, Italia

Lombardia, Italia

Regione Piemonte, Italia

Piemonte, Italia

Regione Trentino-Alto Adige, Italia

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italia

Regione Veneto, Italia

Veneto, Italia

Regione Friuli Venezia-Giulia

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italia

Regione Liguria, Italia

Liguria, Italia

Regione Emilia Romagna, Italia

Emilia-Romagna, Italia

Regione Toscana , Italia

Toscana, Italia

Regione Lazio, Italia

Lazio, Italia

Regione Campania, Italia

Campania, Italia

The Objectives

The 18-month project aims to promote a change in lifestyle and consumption and production patterns relating to the clothing sector, with a view to greater responsibility and respect for human rights and the environment. 

There are three intervention lines: 

  • To raise awareness among consumers, especially young and very young, by providing information and knowledge about the impacts generated globally by the textile industry (and by the fast fashion model in particular) and the possible solutions to be implemented. 
  • To promote citizensactivation, so that they become agents of change by supporting more transparent, sustainable and ethical production, marketing and consumption models. 
  • To stimulate virtuous processes within the clothing industry, involving business operators in the sector in dialogue and exchange initiatives aimed at promoting an improvement in business practices. 

The project is part of Mani Tese’s Made in Justice program.

Project Details



Lombardia, Piemonte, Trentino, Veneto, Friuli, Liguria, Emilia, Toscana, Lazio, Campania.,


2,000 students, over 800,000 citizens, 150 business operators, teachers, journalists

The Activities
  1. Education paths for middle and high school students.
    They will involve 1,125 kids from 45 classes in 4 different regions. 
  2. Paths aimed at high school teachers.
    The aim is to provide teachers with knowledge, tools and methods to train their students on the social and environmental issues of the textile supply chain. 
  3. Workshop for university students of fashion, design and communication schools and in the non-formal field.
    Aimed at the acquisition of knowledge and skills applicable in their training and professional path, with a view to a more ethical and sustainable fashion. 
  4. Information and awareness events.
    Various initiatives will be organized aimed at the general public such as street events, artistic performances, sustainable fashion shows, and a new edition of the experiential installation “THE FASHION EXPERIENCE”. 
  5. A journalism award.
    New edition of the Investigative and Social Journalism Award, aimed at the realization of the best original investigation on the project themes by journalists and other professionals in the sector. 
  6. Realization of an online and social communication and awareness campaign.
    The aim is to create awareness of the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry and encourage targets, especially young people, to change their consumer choices. 
  7. Building a community of activists.
    An online platform will be created with specific proposals dedicated to those who intend to take direct action on the impact of the clothing industry. 
  8. Technical workshops and exchange moments for business operators.
    Economic operators in the sector will be involved in training and dialogue opportunities aimed at stimulating changes in the production and organizational methods of the supply chain, with a view to greater transparency and sustainability. 
  9. Realization of a mapping of best practices in the textile sector in Italy.
    The virtuous practices that are currently being implemented on the national territory will be analyzed and told.