Montesogno was created from the belief that luxury and the environment needn’t be adversaries. The pleasure, comfort and sense of wellbeing afforded by beautiful design can indeed be reconciled with the animals that give us so much creative inspiration. The natural world is an endless source of rich colours, intricate patterns and sensual fabrics that help us define and express who we are every single day, but too often we forget just where exactly the spirit of our image came from.
Giving money to conservational animal causes is usually thought of as an act of charity. At Montesogno, we see things very differently. If a species makes some valuable contribution to a product we create – by lending its image or providing inspiration – then we will pay for it. From our perspective this is not charity but merely a quid pro quo. Business and conservation don’t have to be enemies. In striving for a better life for ourselves, we can simultaneously give back to the exquisite yet fragile creatures that have in turn given us so much.
If our beautiful products can invoke a greater sense of responsibility in us all then we are moving together on the right path, but the image of the endangered animal is only the starting line in our race to protect it. It is important to recognise that the real catalyst driving the extirpation of species is our alarming reclamation of natural habitats. As the conservation journalist Richard Girling writes in his excellent book The Hunt For The Golden Mole: “Perhaps the guilt is sharper, the issue more emotive, but it’s a mistake to imagine that the lanyard of a chainsaw is any less lethal than the trigger of a gun.”
We hope that our modus operandi will prompt others to recognise that a responsible and magnanimous brand can also be a successful and desirable one. We can make a choice as consumers, but also as custodians of the planet. Our simple aim at Montesogno is to make those two choices one and the same.
MONTESOGNO & SUSTAINABILITY
At Montesogno we very carefully consider every aspect of the production process. As a brand with environmental concerns at its heart, we make every effort to be as ethical, sustainable and accountable as is possible. As such, we have partnered with companies who also want to take responsibility for their actions in striving for a better, cleaner world.
The manufacture of our silk products is based entirely in London, keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible. We use digital printing which cuts out ink wastage and harsh chemicals. Our silk scarves are also hand-rolled by skilled artisans.
All of our modal scarves are manufactured in Italy in compliance with Regulation No. 1907/2006/CE as to the SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) which are listed in the first Candidate List published by the ECHA (European Chemical Agency) on 28th October 2008.
Montesogno’s knitted designs are manufactured in Scotland using Good Energy, a renewable supplier. The finishing of blankets and accessories meets very stringent environmental standards and is monitored regularly. We currently use 100% Superfine Merino which can be directly traced back to individual flocks in Australia. Origin, traceability and compliance to the standards of Textiles & Health and TF are certified and guaranteed. All our yarn suppliers meet GOTS standards for dyeing procedures.
All Montesogno T-shirts are Fairtrade organic bamboo-cotton mix and are manufactured in London. Using silk-screen printing, we use only water-based inks which are as sustainable as possible.
Montesogno prints on paper that is FSC certified: every time a tree is taken out of the ground, another is put back in. Our cotton eco bags are made from a sustainable crop and are manufactured in the UK. Our tissue paper is fully recyclable and biodegradable and we only use environmentally friendly water-based inks which have a much longer shelf life than conventional solvent-based inks.
Every season, Montesogno donates 10% of the production cost of every item sold to conservational organisations who best represent the creatures that inspired our collections. The first three charities we are supporting are:
Snow Leopard Trust
The Snow Leopard Trust builds community partnerships by using sound science to determine priorities for protecting the endangered snow leopard. Recently, Snow Leopard Enterprises, the Trust’s flagship community-based conservation program initiated an anti-poaching scheme among the peoples of the Central Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan who agreed not only to stop poaching internally but also to deny accommodation and aid to foreign poachers coming into the area for illegal hunting. Snow Leopard Enterprises is working with over 250 herders in four countries to protect hundreds of cats from illegal hunting and retribution killing.
Whitley Fund for Nature
The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK-registered charity offering funding, training and recognition to outstanding nature conservationists who are working with local communities to protect endangered wildlife around the developing world. In 2013, WFN selected Turkish conservationist Professor Çağan Şekercioğlu as a Whitley Gold Award winner and recipient of £50,000 to aid the largest active conservation project in Turkey. The project will see 4.5 million native trees being planted to connect the Sarıkamış-Allahuekber National Park to the extensive forests along the Black Sea coast and the Caucasus mountains in Georgia. This trans-boundary wildlife corridor will create a new protected area covering 28,543 hectares and connect important habitat to allow the safe movement of large carnivores such as the European wolf.
ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON – EDGE OF EXISTENCE PROGRAMME
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme is the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history. Using a scientific framework to identify the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, the EDGE of Existence programme highlights and protects some of the most unique and most wonderful species on the planet. EDGE species have few close relatives on the tree of life and are often extremely unusual in the way they look, live and behave, as well as in their genetic make-up. They represent an unique and irreplaceable part of the world’s natural heritage, yet an alarming proportion are currently sliding silently towards extinction unnoticed.