The Italian supply chain and the lack of raw materials
At the end of August, a final analysis saw Italy leading the furniture sector with a turnover of 10 billion US dollars – yet, eighty percent of raw materials in Italy are imported. In a similar vein, Italy produced twenty-five percent of global turnover in the tanning sector – yet, it imports nearer ninety percent of raw materials in this area (though this data could also be viewed with positive consideration). Despite being the leading textile manufacturer on the planet, when it comes to textiles, no raw materials are grown in Italy – not cotton, not linen, not silk.
The little Italian wool that we do produce is considered second rate, while hemp is only a future possibility for now. Each case has its argument, but one fact remains clear: Italy does not produce its own raw materials. The national GDP is held up by a label – Made in Italy. In the textile and other industries, this label has lost its value due to the lack of rigor in its requirements – but worse still, it appears that hardly anything Made in Italy originated here. This is Italian soil, soil that must be protected and to which CO2 must be put back. We are made of carbon and to carbon we will return, so that from the Earth new matter can be produced.
Sustainability and transparency
The concept of sustainability is evolving into the concept of transparency – a pragmatic, as much as a virtual, counterpart in the blockchain. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are all part of the same topic: intellectual and moral honesty and traceability. Supply chain honesty and traceability is opposed to an unregulated marketplace that can evade territorial legislations. The title of this issue is dedicated to honesty and an Italian word that almost matches its English translation, Diverso. It is a word that’s implied reference is within the context of gender and human diversity, of issues of inclusiveness – these are the commitments of Lampoon – which, at their core, come down to respect.
Respect is the reprieve between us, anyone who thinks differently from us, and, above all else, anyone who is different from us. Respect can reach out and touch our human contradictions, our psychological chasms, our inability to accept ourselves. I was perhaps sixteen years old when I first discovered a quote by Hofmannsthal in his The Book of Friends, released in 1922 and published in Italy by Adelphi in 1980: Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface. If respect, in all its human complexity, can reach every depth – what do we find on the surface? We can agree that it is with honesty that we access respect.
We are different, we want to be different
Starting with the small things: whether or not we turn the tap off while brushing our teeth, whether or not we choose fruit that comes from local farmers at the market, whether or not we are willing to spend a little more to help those working nearby. These are the seemingly insignificant gestures that build politics. Then there are the big things: respect for those who work to protect us, respect for those who give us work despite not having enough themselves, respect for those who work for us, respect for those who believe in our work.
Italy’s Constitution is founded on labor – the minimum income guaranteed by the Italian state is a remedy, but one with too many side effects. After the pandemic and this summer’s high temperatures, it’s time for a day of reckoning. Changing the logic of industrial production on our planet is not viable – stopping plastic production or cleaning the oceans would take decades, but removing microplastics from the water is impossible.
In the countryside we see factories instead of fields, expanses of land that have been depleted instead of regenerated. We think the problem lies in cities but, in reality, it lies in the countryside – in the degeneration of the soil. Unfortunately, the word forestation is beginning to be considered irrelevant, due to an excess of information based on misleading numbers instead of on the authority of the channels on which it is reported. However: we need to remind ourselves that planting trees is the first concrete thing we can all do today.
It is all a matter of honesty and transparency
Take pride in diversity. It almost sounds like a nursery rhyme. To be different – to want to be different – means to be honest. You are different from the idea you have of yourself – you must accept this and you must respect this. Worse or better, it doesn’t matter. You are just different from who you think you are. Don’t dismiss your questions, your uncertainties, your doubts – don’t run away out of fear or longing. You are as beautiful as the world intended you to be. As a child, when making the sign of the Holy Cross, I was always unsure as to whether I should bring my hand to the right or the left after touching my chest. I now know that I don’t have to think about it, that it’s okay, because you are here – and the hand knows where it has to go.