Flavia Amato, a model and clothing designer from Guardavalle (Calabria, Italy), made a bold move in 2016 by returning to Calabria to establish Malìa, an ethical artisan tailor’s shop that creates and makes clothes without waste and that last over time. The project began mainly from an ethical choice, driven by Flavia’s concern about the environment and the impact of the fashion industry on workers.
Flavia’s background in fashion design and her experience with well-known brands provided her with insights into the industry’s unsustainable practices where she observed low-quality products, bad working conditions for workers, and a lack of transparency in supply chains. So, she made a conscious decision to start an ethical and sustainable fashion brand that would prioritize natural and innovative materials and offer a unique, long-lasting garment tailored to the customer’s taste.
To make her vision a reality, Flavia responded to a call for proposals to support innovative start-ups from the Adriano Olivetti Institute in Ancona. She was selected, which provided her with the opportunity to deepen her knowledge and learn how to run a business. In 2016, Flavia returned to her hometown, where she refurbished her grandmother’s haberdashery and established Malìa.
Flavia uses natural yarns such as hemp, nettle, silk, cotton, and linen, along with innovative yarns created from natural fibers such as aloe, bamboo, seaweed, and milk. Her goal is to create a line for both men and women that does not follow the concept of “passing fashion” but offers clothes that can be worn throughout the day, and that last over time.
While initially met with skepticism, Flavia’s unique approach to fashion design has gained support from her local community. Her ethical fashion brand, Malìa, has become a shining example of sustainable entrepreneurship, educating consumers about the importance of critical and conscious consumption.