Beach umbrellas, spinnaker sails, jeans: for RE49, nothing is thrown away

A perfect example of a circular economy: what were once beach umbrellas, beach beds, sails, jeans, and tyres are recycled and transformed into sneakers. This is the philosophy of the brand RE49, a declaration of intent already inherent in their logo. In fact, RE stands for RE-USE, RE-CYCLE, RE-DUCE, RE-TURN and 49 is the date in which Valentino Masolini started recycling fabrics and military uniforms to transform them into shoes. A far-sightedness that was ahead of its time and now in line with current times, when sustainability has become a necessity for the fashion sector. With this intent, Nicola Masolini created the RE49 start-up a year and a half ago, converting the family business in Friuli Venezia Giulia into a circular economy production model. The shoes are limited edition, certified vegan by Peta and traceable with blockchain. To make this possible, a microchip is inserted into the tongue of each shoe that traces the company’s ethics in the production process. The choice of each material that comes back to life has its own reason. “Denim is a timeless classic that everyone likes” – explains Nicola Masolini – “but 10,000 litres of water are needed to produce a pair of jeans; to prevent it from becoming a waste, we transform it into timeless shoes. The spinnaker sail uses a very light, ultra-resistant material with a wrinkled effect, which is therefore ideal for contemporary models; the sails are made of dacron, a resistant and flexible material; the canvas of beach umbrellas and deck chairs is sturdy and colourful, car tyres become high-performance soles for footwear. In short, everything is reusable and recyclable and, for us, slow fashion has become a mission, as well as a vocation”.

Flavia Colli Franzone