MSGM Founder Massimo Giorgetti on Launching His First Eco-Friendly Sneaker, Greenwashing and What’s Next

Two years after launching its first sustainably minded “Fantastic Green” ready-to-wear micro collection, MSGM has unveiled its first eco-friendly shoe range.

According to the Italian fashion brand, the unisex collection features a high-top and low-top sneaker silhouette in a array of earthy colors including nude, brown, green and purple. Called the FG1 sneakers, the shoes were made in collaboration with ACBC, an Italian B Corp specializing in footwear.

In an exclusive interview with FN, MSGM founder and creative director Massimo Giorgetti said that the ACBC team “accompanied” the brand during the entire six-month process, from the creative phase to final production. “Thanks to their know-how, we finally created a sustainable shoe made with responsible materials,” Giorgetti said.

Massimo Giorgetti, MSGM, FG1, sneakers, sustainability
Massimo Giorgetti
CREDIT: Courtesy of MSGM

Diving into the shoes’ construction, the uppers were made from VegSkin, a vegetable-tanned leather that uses only natural tannins extracted from chestnut and quebracho wood to transform raw hide into the final material. Plus, the sole is made with ReRubber, which uses recycled pre-consumer factory waste. And the lining, labels and laces are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Giorgetti pointed out that the project reflected the brand’s determination to seek out organic materials and natural textures that respect biodiversity and the safety of the planet, without coming across as greenwashing — something he considers a serious problem in the fashion industry.

“Bringing this to the company was not easy,” Giorgetti candidly told FN. “Greenwashing is in front of us every day, but thank God more and more people are now conscious of this. Let’s be honest, it’s really difficult to transition an entire production chain into a 100 percent green practice in only a few years. So what we decided as a company is to focus our [sustainability] efforts, for the moment, on the ‘Fantastic Green’ range.”

MSGM, FG1, sneakers, sustainability
MSGM’s FG1 high-top sneakers.
CREDIT: martinaamoruso

The founder also mentioned that MSGM has taken further eco-conscious measures, like using garment covers made of 100 percent recycled plastic, which can be further recycled if properly disposed. Giorgetti also said that the hangers the brand uses are 100 percent recycled plastic, and the internal logo and care/composition labels on garments are made entirely from recycled polyester. “We intend to bring these kinds of materials very soon to the whole brand packaging,” Giorgetti said.

The launch of MSGM’s new FG1 sneakers is the latest footwear development from the Italian fashion brand, which previewed its first shoe range at Pitti Uomo in 2013. Styles on display at the time included raffia jacquard sandals in pop colors, a tie-die printed slip-on and a flowered broderie anglaise slip-on with acid colors.

MSGM, FG1, sneakers, sustainability
MSGM’s FG1 low-top sneakers.
CREDIT: martinaamoruso

Fast forward to today, and Giorgetti noted that MSGM’s footwear range has transitioned from being evenly distributed across men’s and women’s to consisting of 70 percent women’s and 30 percent men’s styles. He said the heavier women’s focus is due to sneakers and streetwear dominating the men’s business in recent years, limiting the demand for certain shoe models for men. “The women’s market has been more varied in terms of demand in recent years, and I have been able to be more free to express my creativity on different models and moods season by season,” Giorgetti said.

As for best sellers, he told FN that sneakers with a “touch of running inspiration” remain “one of the most desirable and successful” models for his men’s clients.

As for women’s, it depends on the season: “I would say ankle boots with a sculptured heel and geometrical toe are a must in the winter season,” Giorgetti said. “Boots with a ‘Western’ attitude, like camperos in bold colors, also do well. We also have multi-lace heeled sandals with a touch of acid yellow that sell very well.”

As for what’s next, Giorgetti said more eco-friendly shoes are in the future from MSGM. “I’m already working on a new model with ACBC, but I can’t tell you more at the moment.”

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