Inspiring Fashion Inclusiveness – WWD
When Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana (CNMI), the governing body of fashion in Italy, first announced its commitment to promoting inclusiveness and diversity in fashion in 2018, the company started with the ‘education. Published in 2019, CNMI’s Inclusion and Diversity Manifesto highlighted the way forward for Italian businesses, including inclusion strategies that take into account ethnicity, age, socio-economic conditions. and the different skill levels.
Now, with an established base in its commitment, CNMI has partnered with Mygrants, the platform developed by Christian Richmond Nzi who since its founding has provided career and placement services to migrants and refugees in Italy, to put its goals in action.
“We are proud to present this new project, which marks an important step in the evolution process aimed at making our fashion system more and more inclusive,” said Carlo Capasa, President of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. “After the publication of our Manifesto in 2019, we started to take action with several initiatives, including ‘Fashion deserves the world’.
For Mygrants, which has proven itself in the assessment of skills and the match between supply and demand in the labor market, the partnership with CNMI opens the door to the fashion sector of the workforce. .
“We have worked in different sectors, and after a year and a half of discussions with Camera Della Moda, we are finally able to make our foray into the fashion sector,” said Nzi, CEO of Mygrants at a virtual press conference. conference in June. “Over the years, we have been in contact with people with skills related to fashion, in sewing for example, but we have never managed to offer them the right positions.
Through the Mygrants platform, which has more than 135,000 active users, companies have opened applications to all migrants and refugees under the age of 35 with expertise related to fashion. At the close of applications on September 30, 2021, a select group of 15 talented finalists will then be chosen to launch the initiative. Notably, while Capasa said his team felt it was important to start the program’s pilot project by supporting just 15 people, he “hopes this project will spread like wildfire.”
In addition, Capasa pointed out that the initiative is timely in the industry with around 40,000 highly skilled fashion jobs expected to become vacant in the coming years as a result of retirements.
“These are all very specific jobs, and we have to find successors among talented and committed people,” said Capasa. “Migrants and refugees are an integral part of our country and are a great resource. We are proud to present this new project, which marks an important step in the process of evolution to make our fashion system more and more inclusive.
Once selected, the 15 finalists of the program will receive free access to a training program organized by CNMI, with 10 webinars designed to update and strengthen skills to facilitate internships in the fashion industry. The courses, which will take place between late December 2021 and early January 2022, will see the contribution of a range of experts exploring different topics, from materials and manufacturing techniques to distribution, communication and sustainability.
At the end of the educational program, CNMI and Mygrants will support participants in the placement process, putting them in touch with Italian companies that will offer them internships or full-time positions, depending on their needs and candidate profiles.
Moreover, with this project, CNMI aims not only to meet the needs of the sector for skilled workers, but also to integrate inclusive policies into its business model and to take a position to act as a driving force to promote a much needed change in industry – ultimately setting an example for others to follow.
“Sharing best practices is the goal of all our projects on diversity and inclusion and corporate social responsibility,” said Capasa. “Our responsibility as an association and as a leader is to lead the industry and to support the companies that are part of it, in particular those that operate in Italy but also the international ones that produce in our country.”
As the first edition of the “Fashion Deserves the World” initiative, Capasa told WWD its hope not only to inspire other companies to participate in its subsequent editions, but also to plan their own similar programs that may be adapted to the specific realities of the company.
“I think the first thing for a business is to have a commitment,” Capasa said. “We are at the start of a change and it will take time to see results. Some companies have already hired a diversity manager and implemented a diversity and inclusion strategy while others have started with unique initiatives on these topics. Our Associated brands have joined our initiative, giving their full availability, without hesitation and with great enthusiasm, sending a strong message of inclusiveness and proving the importance of this project.
The Fashion Deserves the World project has already received sponsorship from the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative and was part of the World Refugee Day calendar of events of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ).
“Mygrants, CNMI and its associated companies, we all have a huge responsibility,” Nzi said. “I think ‘Fashion deserves the world’ can really make a difference for these talented young migrants who are trying to find their place in the Italian fashion industry. I would like to thank Carlo Capasa for his foresight and the CNMI team for their perseverance. Together we will continue to do crazy things, making them the new normal. “