Written by Sophie Wyatt
Sustainability is an incredibly hot topic right now. After sitting inside day in, day out for the past year, people have come to recognise their deep-rooted love for the outdoors. I think it’s safe to say that we’re not the only ones flicking through old photos when we were free to laugh with friends in parks and go on adventures. And because of this, people have really started to take sustainability seriously. And one person that is taking a creative route to inspire people to care about the environment around them is Instagram artist, Giulia Zinato, aka @imponderabile_.
Inspired by nature, Giulia uses what is around her to create fruity, floral and sometimes chilly fashion. From orange peel bras to an apricot blossom one piece, Giulia’s content is entirely unique and well thought out. So to kick things off, we had to know how this all came about.
‘I started creating my ‘sustainable fashion’ content about a year ago, during the quarantine period. It was a very sad moment for me, I missed being able to travel and I especially missed my long walks in the mountains, a moment when I felt completely connected with Nature. Initially my photos were quite simple, almost immediately I started experimenting with new shapes and now I have been pushing myself more towards the creation of ‘organic garments’: it’s also a challenge for me, because handling flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables are often difficult due to their delicacy. I love creating entire compositions, but I also love applying natural details (for example to a jacket or a cardigan) as a possible embellishment.’
Although it’s clear that the environment is Giulia’s initial inspiration for her creations, we wanted to delve a little deeper. We wanted to know makes Giulia excited about creating her natural fashion. While she was explaining to us what inspires her, Giulia also spoke about why it inspires her, as well as why it is so important to her to preserve the world around us.
‘First of all, it’s Nature that inspires me, when I observe it and notice something that particularly strikes me, I always think about how I could wear it. Secondly, I also draw inspiration from other images and photos I find on the web (social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, etc …), reworking them and creating something personal. Today we’re continually bombarded with content of all kinds and it’s normal to feel its influence: the important thing is to know how to filter them through your vision and personality, do things with your heart and be yourself…the rest will come by itself.
I really love talking about sustainability and nature when I feel like it. But I love to communicate more through images: they often can convey more than words. For me it’s very important to support and preserve nature, because it’s one of the most precious things left, despite having been severely damaged by man over time. I think that my works, in some way, can also awaken the primordial bond that the human being has with the natural dimension, not only appreciating its beauty. When there weren’t any clothes, you also covered yourself with leaves…no? So why can’t I do it? Beyond this, I always say that through my photos I would like to awaken the senses of those who look at them, I’m not speaking only of sight, but also of smell (smells of flowers, earth, moss, stones), touch, hearing and why not, even taste.’
After a year of creating different pieces, we were interested to know if Giulia had any favourites from her collection of pieces. However, like any great artist, Giulia found this question almost impossible. Although there was one that will stick in her mind forever.
‘All of my content is part of me and I’d be lying if I said I’ve one in particular that I prefer. I love them all in the exact same way. But I can say that the most ‘suffered’ content was the apricot blossom body. It took me about 4 hours only to compose it and standing with my neck down to attach the flowers, I was left with a sore back for almost a week, lol.’
Creating anything unique and abstract is going to attract attention, and as well know, this attention is not always good. One particular question that get’s thrown around a lot regarding Giulia’s work is, if you care about the environment so much, why are you wasting fruit or vegetables making clothing? However, as Giulia has addressed several times on social media, everything that she uses in her pieces are used or repurposed once the pieces have been photographed. Giulia explained to us that while she has had her fair share of hate online for her organic clothing, her passion for creating has not been dampened.
‘Initially people were divided into two factions: those who appreciated and supported the project I had started, those who didn’t understand why I took certain photos. Obviously, the last one didn’t hesitate to kidding me, without even listening to what I had to say, and to make bad jokes about my works, especially for the fact that, in most of them, part of my body was uncovered. But it simply didn’t matter to me (and it doesn’t matter), in fact I also have to thank those who rowed against me from the beginning, because it really helped to strengthen my character. Now, I must say that my community is very homogeneous, it’s made up of those who have always supported me, those who have understood the aims of my project and those who have recently followed me for what I’m doing. I no longer receive negative messages (at least for now ahaha) and I am very happy about that.’
Lastly, we wanted to know what Giulia has planned for the future of her art. Throughout her social media, Giulia makes it known that she is doing what she loves to do, both on and off of social media. While she is enjoying creating her pieces, she told us that she is ready to go with the flow of what is to come. She explained to us that she will be continuing to create her environmentally friendly clothing, but is continuing to take every day as it comes.
‘In addition to being happy and doing what makes me feel good, I’d say that I keep the doors open to all the possibilities and opportunities that will come (if they do), obviously that are possibilities in accord with my ideals and desires. I’m not a person who only focuses on certain things, but I consider myself very versatile and adaptable.
I live the day and just put into action what comes to my mind. But I’d like to learn to use digital tools more, or learn how to build fully wearable organic clothes. In addition, I would like to start using other elements as well (in addition to leaves, flowers and fruit): in part I’ve already done so, but in short, I don’t deny that I would like to experiment with new shapes.’
Head over to Giulia’s Instagram page to catch more of her unique, sustainable fashion, and love for the environment!