What are the first words that come to mind when thinking about Zegna? Luxury menswear? Superior tailoring? Italian heritage? Premium wools and quality fabrics? Whatever the immediate associations may be, it’s likely that a natural territory is not one of them, but it should be.
Nestled deep in the Biellese Alps in Piedmont, Northern Italy, is the Oasi Zegna — the Zegna brand’s natural territory, a 100-square-kilometer forest that surrounds the brand’s home of Trivero and beyond.
In the 1930s, founder Ermenegildo Zegna was laying the groundwork for an ethical approach to the planet and community, long before the advent of popular ecology. A visionary in this field, Zegna began to devote himself to a number of environmental and social welfare projects. His primary concern was to protect the local environment, improve the welfare of the local community, and promote his home territories, so he planted 500,000 conifer trees across the mountains surrounding his wool mill.
Zegna then built a 44.5-kilometer road called the Panoramic Zegna — now known as the 232 Panoramica Zegna — which links the region’s villages to their natural surroundings and offers the public sweeping views of its valleys and mountains. And it was really needed, the territory is huge, approximately 30 times the size of New York’s Central Park. Ninety years later and the 232 has become so tied to Zegna’s vision that it’s referenced in the brand’s logo and is often cited as the inspiration for collections and campaigns.
In 1993, the Oasi Zegna officially became a protected natural area, and today, it’s a bustling tourist destination, largely thanks to all the outdoor activities on offer — mountain biking, air spots, horseback riding, trekking, skiing, and bird watching. The area also hosts and supports various art and educational projects, working alongside the European Union to protect biodiversity.
Naturally, this planetary commitment runs to the core. In 2019, the Zegna Group launched the #UseTheExisting campaign, which was all about giving life to old or discarded fabrics, surplus fibers, and offcuts, and completely reducing waste. Also in 2019, Zegna signed the Fashion Pact plan alongside 30+ other major fashion brands that pledge to reduce their environmental impact.
If you think about it, there really aren’t many luxury global brands that can track their commitment to sustainability back almost a century in such a significant way. Zegna’s entire process — to cultivate relationships between man and mountain, culture and nature, and preserve them for generations to come — is, when you boil it down, what sustainable design is all about. Zegna dubbed his approach a “green thought” and it is still integral to the brand, long after his death.
Journey deeper into the park with Zegna’s exclusive digital experience, BORN IN OASI ZEGNA.