Italian fashion label BACK Label is taking clothing back to its origins – 100% naturally sourced textiles sewn by tailors in Italy – while experimenting with next generation fabrics including milk protein textile.
The brand creates luxury “wellness wear” – think functional basics such as kaftans, scoop back dresses, ribbed pullovers for women, and shorts, drawstring pants and hoodies for men – under the categories of lounge wear, resort wear and athletic wear.
Milk protein fibre, which in fact has its roots in Italy, is one of BACK Label’s most unique fabrics – with its silky, soft cashmere wool-like feel it is also environmentally-friendly and sustainable.
Milk fibre derives from a milk protein known as casein. Milk fibre is a blend of casein protein and the chemical acrylonitrile, which is used to make acrylic. It’s made using a process that is similar to rayon/viscose, but because it’s a regenerated protein fibre and not a regenerated cellulose fibre, it reacts like wool.
The milk protein fibre was the brainchild of Italian chemist and engineer Antonio Ferretti, who in the 1930s had the idea to extract a precious fibre from the milk protein, casein. The new fibre had dyeing and olfactive properties that resembled wool, but was way softer, lighter and pleasant on skin, similar to the luxurious cashmere and silk feel.
Antonio Ferretti patented the milk protein fibre under the name, Lanital. Lanital fast spread in Europe and had an important production growth until the 1940s, when the spotlight moved on to cheaper synthetics derived from petroleum like nylon.
With the aim of bringing good quality and sustainable fashion back to its roots, husband and wife team Filippo and Amy Perricone created the BACK Label. It was imperative for the couple to use natural fibres and to evoke the quality that Italian-made clothing is famed for worldwide.
BACK Label clothes are 100% made in Italy by a dedicated team of seamstresses, working with naturally sourced textiles, at the label’s factory in Bergamo. Running their operations as a fully functional green business, BACK Label use green energy at its factory and use GOTS-certified dyes that are non-toxic and safe on skin.
Filippo Perricone explains: “[We] started the company with the goal to take back the quality there was once upon a time. We wanted to go back to the basics, to the origins and, finally, back to a 100 per cent Italian handmade brand, by using to its fullest potential the resources found in nature. That’s where the name of our brand comes from.
“The purity of milk fibre textile was our first heart shot and the starting point of our brand.”
Other fabrics that BACK Label work with includes seaweed fibre, bamboo and Egyptian cotton.
Amy Perricone, co-founder and Creative Director at BACK Label, adds: “I love the idea that layering on a milk protein & organic cotton t-shirt, a pair of seaweed-enhanced leggings and a luxurious cashmere wrap is as precious a ritual as layering the best beauty products on your face and body after you shower.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. I write about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and I offer content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com