This is the start of Italian thoughts on sustainability for Borderless Creations.

However, I would like to make a premise: I live in Italy since 18 years, but was born and raised in Belgium, so I am still a bit of an outsider, looking with the eyes of a stranger to certain parts of Italian life. This means I have to disappoint whoever expects to read green notes from a perfect Italian mamma, but you can expect to read some ironic takes on the typical Italian cultural and a colored view on their idea of sustainable living.

In 18 years I have lived in different towns in Italy - and in the middle I even moved to Amsterdam for half a year - but I will be writing from a (small) provincial town on the Adriatic sea: Rimini. I live here together with my partner and 6 year old son. Living at the seaside means a lot of fun and being close to nature, but it also means noticing the effect of the climate change.

While Yu-Ching and Yasuhiro were over in Italy for their first European research trip this Summer, they told me about their new mission with “Borderless Creations”, and I immediately liked the idea. I also realised that their approach to sustainability is very similar to mine: one step at a time, changing small things in my every day life. Just as them, I am working in the fashion industry since over 15 years, and I realise that it is one of the less “green” industries - although being sustainable is getting really fashion nowadays. I feel the same way as they do: there is a lot to do, but what can we really do? I often have the impression that Belgium is a few steps ahead with regards to Italy when it comes to living more planet-conscious. I also read and follow a lot of great initiatives from Scandinavia, although not all are applicable to Italy. I apply a few Belgian habits into my every day Italian life: I cycle, a lot, even when it rains cats and dogs and I make my son cycle along, just to give an example.

But Italy has taught me also a lot: at first, it never fails in granting you with great local food all year long: in Belgium winters were very long and boring when it comes to eating local food, here in Italy the variety is great and tasty all year long. I love cooking (and eating), and since I moved here, food has become a real passion. I guess my green notes from Italy will be a mix of thoughts on green living, sharing ideas I gather from around Europe and inevitably some cooking and food. Which might make these notes end up as coming from a (fake) Italian mamma anyway.

See you soon, Ilse

Tagged: City Diaries