The sea thread obtained from the mussel that regenerates the lives of the prisoners (13/06/2022)

That sea ​​thread it is obtained from the filament by which the mussel is held attached to the rock. It is an ancient process, the son of the Taranto tradition, the city symbol of the mussel, which transforms the waste filaments into textile inserts and buttons. A circular financial system that utilizes this technique included in the project “Sartorial innovations” to Territory Italy Foundation continues in collaboration with Made in Carcerea brand founded by Luciana delle Donne, through training courses dedicated to women in the women’s prisons of Lecce and Taranto. They are the ones who carry out social and work placement activities with the social tailors in the suburbs, who deal with the processing of string, mussel waste, transformed into sea thread for the manufacture of embroidery, accessories, decorations and buttons. Therefore, through an innovative technique for treating waste from mussel filaments it is possible to get a textile fiber that looks like silk and create a series of products for fashion and furniture, sacred art and jewels inlaid with sea thread.

“The detained women immediately brought the mussel’s thread close to their faces and smelled the scent of the sea, a really strong feeling, with tears in their eyes. So amazed at the value of a leaf remaining imprinted on the fabric, each of them made transferring this knowledge to people who are rebuilding dignity and a new identity, repaying all the daily efforts to row against the current, where fatigue becomes a transformative and repairing value. Luciana delle Donne created the brand in 2007 Made in Carcere with the aim of involving the female inmates of the Borgo San Nicola Prison in Lecce and the Trani Prison in tailoring activities that over the years have led to the creation of bags and accessories, tablet holders and original and colorful scarves, bracelets and much more .

On the occasion of International Oceans Daywhich is celebrated every year on June 8, coaches Monica Saba from Ovis Nigra Creazioni and Ambra Mediati, professional decorator, have dedicated days to courses in green jobs to send to the participants various sustainable eco-imprinting printing techniques used to print prints of leaves and flowers on fabric, as well as onion skins, fabrics for fashion and furniture through the transformation of agricultural food and forest waste. The initiative immediately regained great success, so much so that it expanded and grew within a few years, favoring a concrete employment placement of women in prison or under fragile conditions.

In the case of the mussel, it is therefore a refusal that is not noble, but humble waste recycled from the containers (machinery separating the mussel from its filament) and provided by Paolo Varrella and by the AMA, the Mediterranean Aquaculture Association. Thanks to these intertwined collaborations and skills, the rejection comes today saved from disposal and becomes precious thread, a sea-memory to be embedded in the decorative details of the fabrics of the haute couture houses, ever closer to the circular economy. The inmates therefore participated enthusiastically in the courses, aware that the acquisition of new skills in these tailor-made sectors means that they have more opportunities to find a place in the labor market. The course involved women in prison and on their way out, unemployed or unemployed women, female victims of violence. “We observed the different approach between the resources that have been working in the prison for some time and those that have not yet worked,” delle Donne points out. “The first ones looked for a job and then suggested solutions, the others were happy to survive the boredom and nothingness of a prison, in line with our ongoing scientific research on the social impact that we like to define BIL Gross Internal Wellbeing”.

What is certain is that from their commitment the sea thread was born, useful for producing embroidery, accessories, decorations and buttons, and regenerates not only the discarded material but also the lives that have paid the bill with the company after the mistakes made . “Once again, collaboration creates evolution, the restoration of an ancient tradition of Taranto becomes contemporary artisan knowledge, opportunities for green jobs that are increasingly in demand by the market. This is how self-esteem and talents are trained, he adds Daniela Ducato, President of the Fondazione Territorio Italia and recently also National President of the WWF, «so that even in desperation we can find the thread of innovation and be reborn. How has the tireless mussel that cleans and revives the sea every day, anchored with its thread, between land and water ”.

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