WOO: sustainable raincoats from Puglia

Belen Espino
Anna Quirino

WOO is the collection of clothing and accessories with roots in fishing, a hipster soul and an urban lifestyle mood.

It all begins in 2016, when Giulia Petronella, a young entrepreneur from the Apulian town of Mesagne, sets off on a journey alone among the main northern European capitals. Petronella studied Information Engineering and Business Organization.

«I began to perceive the needs of the local people – he says – on the one hand the need to react to climatic conditions; on the other hand the desire to keep up with the latest fashion trends ». At that moment Giulia sees a great opportunity ahead of her: transforming the raincoats for the fishing and agricultural world produced by her family’s company.

«Bringing to Italy an item of clothing useful for the rain but at the same time wearable every day: both in the office and for a trip out of town. To dress every person of every age, origin and gender, creating waterproof models that make everyone feel at ease », this is the goal of WOO.

WOO Raincoat

WOO was born in 2019 by RAITEX, an all-female manufacturing company of the Petronella family, but it develops as an independent project. Giulia Petronella explains: “WOO was born from the English WATERPROOF. Starting from this word, attention was paid to some letters: the W and the two O, which recall the onomatopoeic exclamation WOW. WOW is used to express satisfaction, enthusiasm, or a mostly positive feeling of wonder or amazement. It wants to be a sound that remains etched in people’s minds, the amazement of seeing the sun even when it rains and tackling every obstacle as an opportunity. The pieces of WOO represent this philosophy, travel the world as explorers and live here and now ».

WOO: materials and collections

WOO’s clothing and accessories collection is made without the use of heavy metals, components and chemical solvents, with ISO 14001 certified PVC and nickel-free steel. All components of WOO products comply with the European REACH standards. The production process is between artisanal and semi-industrial; each garment is sewn and heat-sealed to be 100% waterproof. Waterproof fabrics are supplied by European companies that share the values of quality, dialogue, knowledge sharing and responsible development, guaranteeing safe and ethical working conditions. “The strength joints in the combination of the high quality of the welding and seams of the garments, with the totally green approach to materials and production » Giulia says.

WOO Raincoat

WOO has already taken several measures to reduce the ecological footprint. «Pieces of fabrics have been reused to produce small accessories. We also recycle part of our industrial waste. We intend to set up a repair center to increase the longevity of our products»

During the COVID emergency, WOO created t-shirts with messages of hope and positivity, the proceeds of which went to the fundraiser of the Municipality of Mesagne to support citizens in need.

The latest WOO collection, which includes colored raincoats, waterproof bags and accessories, was also presented at Pitti 2021 and is called “Roots”. «The strong link with our beloved land, Salento, emerges in the Roots collection: the enhancement of what it was and what it can become. I would define it as a mix of past and future, a vision of sustainability that underlines the impact that each of us has on the planet » .