Every month at Muscatti we get together to find ways to be more active in the role we play with environmentally friendly processes. It is a balance between doing the right thing, being able to afford it and compromising between the two. Our meeting today (like most eco meetings we have) was very inspiring. We talked about how far we have come in this journey since our start in 2010. Last year, we had an interview around #worldwaterday about this very subject. Muscatti's role in fighting pollution in the apparel industry is extremely important to us. With that said, we wanted to share an interview with our designer Ivan Alvarez on a bog that shares our vision. The interview was originally done by writer Jen Klementi for clebratetheartoflife.com. You can see the original blog in the link below this article. Enjoy!
Muscatti | Fashion with a conscience
The fashion world is one of the industries that use the most amount of water. Muscatti is a fashion brand out of California that is doing their best to minimize pollution as much as possible and they are working towards being 100% eco-friendly. Currently, Muscatti uses local organic cotton from California which has less impact on the environment and supports the local economy. Supporting local makers has always been highly important to me. I love to support makers and brands that are making an effort to reduce their impact on the environment and who give back to our communities. I absolutely love the Muscatti brand. Beautiful clothing and accessories that are consciously made. Fashion with a conscience. I was introduced to the brand by my friends Dylan & Lucas, who are featured in the photographs in this post. I had the opportunity recently to interview Ivan Alvarez, one of the co-founders of Muscatti.
The decisions that we make as consumers can greatly impact not only the quality of our own lives but also the quality of life of many others. We can choose to support companies and brands that are honest, ethical and working toward making the world better.
Who is the founder of Muscatti?
The Muscatti brand was founded by two of us who have been friends since our early 20’s. We have both been in the clothing industry since the late 90’s and decided to finally start Muscatti in 2010 with the idea of taking everything we’ve learned in apparel and do something for ourselves. My apparel background is in Design. I was the head designer of a clothing company called BC Ethic. We were one of the largest Rock ’n Roll inspired brands during its time. We moved vintage rock tees, jeans, leather, hats and accessories into stores like Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, and Fred Segal, to name a few. We outfitted many rock bands because we were known for being a traditional American brand. During this time, my partner had worked with companies like Diesel and Mossimo resourcing and manufacturing around the world. We decided to start a brand when we met a custom car designer that owns a huge custom car business and was a lover of custom making anything. We needed this kind of person! We felt the time was right and the right people were now involved.
Can you tell me a bit about your background and your inspiration for creating the Muscatti brand? Does the word Muscatti have a meaning?
The inspiration for Muscatti comes from the love of Vintage anything. We love cars, Motorcycles, furniture and even movies. But what really stands out to us is vintage fashion. We love the colors and cuts used in times of late 50’s through late 70’s. In the 50’s it was a rebellious period for racers and customs builders. It created a lifestyle look that represented “real men.” What we love of the 60’s was the Muscle car era here in the USA. It represents a timeless American culture, especially in California. The 70’s were a “Loud, Fast and Outta’ Control” moment in time. These three decades each have a piece embedded in Muscatti culture.
I love to support local and artisan made. Your clothing is made in California, and you describe your look as a blend of vintage Americana, Japanese aesthetic, and European fit. Can you tell us about the artisans, techniques, and craftsmanship that go into your apparel?
In our experience working with Japanese, we’ve learned so much about their love of vintage Americana. Japanese people immerse themselves in whatever lifestyle they are into beautifully. What I like about their take on our American inspiration are slightly different color pallets and fabric choices. What we like to do is blend those ideas and cut them in a European fit and you have Muscatti. We want you to feel like a badass when you wear our brand. Our lifestyle can be described as “California Americana” because we have a different feel than anywhere else in the world. It’s like California can be its own country! Craftsmanship is very important to us. we use old style construction with new innovative technology to make our apparel. We make clothing for the Gentleman who is also a bit of a rebel. We describe our guy as “A notch above the working class.” The Muscatti girl is rebellious, a traditionalist in fashion and a bit punk rock. She knows her power and her motto is “Live Fast Die Pretty.”
Do you think that the fashion world can do more to save our environment? What changes would you like to see take place in the world of fashion?
There is so much we can do in the fashion industry. In developing countries around the world, there are around 8,000 different chemicals used in dyes and washes, including bleaches that get drained into waterways and in our oceans. Fabrics like cotton also use pesticides when farming and require a lot of water. Using common fabrics like polyester, for example, are fabrics that are the made of the same or sometimes recycled plastic bottles. The problem with polyester is that every time you wash polyester it releases thousands of microplastic fibers into the oceans which are very dangerous to our ecosystem. There are way too many examples to explain, but you can see the struggle to go green especially when a developing country depends on this industry to feed its citizens.
What we do at Muscatti is work with organic cotton from California. Our cotton is amazing quality. Organic Cotton uses less harmful chemicals and pesticides and by using local resources it reduces the impact on the environment. We also encourage extending the lifecycle of a garment so that we are not mass-producing too quickly. Your home washing machine uses less water than the commercial machines which also uses chemicals in large masses. Our jackets look better with time and do not need to be washed often, if at all! We use Ozone denim treatments to bleach jeans without using water OR bleach. There is still a little rinse process at the end, but it is a huge difference in the amount of water we save. This is only the beginning. As we grow so will our efforts. It is a challenge worth taking.
I was thrilled to learn from a recent video posted on Instagram on #worldwaterday about your sustainable business practices. Can you tell me how Muscatti is helping to save our environment? And why this is important to you and your brand?
We pride ourselves in minimizing pollution the best we can. Climate change can be debated whether it is happening or not, but pollution is proven to be a real “in-your-face” problem and there is no debate on that. We are working hard to be as sustainable as we can. It is very hard and very expensive. Our dream is to keep growing so we can afford to be 100% eco-friendly. We are doing many things to make our infrastructure green. It takes many partners to be a part of this system so our struggle is inspiring partners to change their old ways.
Here is the video post for you. Just click on the image below to see the video. Follow Muscatti on Instagram for more inspiration.
Yesterday was #worldwaterday The fashion world is one of the industries that wastes the most water. We do our part to help conserve. Local California organic cotton helps reduce carbon footprint because of less trucking. When we must use water we use vegetable dyes so it is biodegradable. The best is using Ozone Denim Treatments because its waterless. Do your part and shop responsibly. _________________________________ #lifestyle #caferacer #moto #usa #organic #organiccotton #fashion #denim #california #bikerbabes #bikerjacket #plantbased #conservation #freedom #savetheplanet
Currently, you can shop online via your website. Are there plans in the future to open your own set of stores or to sell to larger stores carrying various brands?
We just started to make waves into boutique stores in the next coming months. It will be the beginning of our expansion into retail. We are very excited because it is the first step in our dream of having our very own Muscatti stores.
Can you tell me about “Muscatti Rebels – running since 2010”
Muscatti Rebels idea started as a motorcycle club but eventually turned into our more moto specific part of the line. We are making moves into providing more gear and accessories for this division. We are extremely excited about this because we are lovers of good quality custom crafted American made products and we want to provide these garments to the motorcycle enthusiasts for not only looks but safety as well.
I see a lot of motorcycles pictured in your lookbook, website and throughout your social media. Does this have something to do with the “Muscatti Rebels”? Can you tell me more about the lifestyle that inspired the brand? Can you describe your loyal following?
We love motorcycles, especially vintage bikes and cafe racers. To us, it has a feeling of freedom. These bikes are our inspiration in design and lifestyle. We love the custom builds and mixing of old and new technology. Some of these bikes are a work of art. I think the bikes themselves fit perfectly with our brand since many of the motorcycles we see inspire our designs. Muscatti takes Americana with a European fit and we use these European bikes for an Americana lifestyle. Some designers are inspired by architecture and some by paintings, but we are inspired by the unique custom builds of vintage motorcycles.
Photography: Jennifer Klementti
Original content: Clebratetheartoflife.com