The Fil Bleu: a thread to connect Blue Artisans in Venice and beyond


Jack Coulton

28 May 2024

UNESCO-IOC joins forces with Prada Group and Venezia da Vivere to unite a network of Blue Artisans around Venice with a fil bleu ahead of the Ocean Literacy World Conference.

The Fil Bleu initiative, which began in earnest on 25 May, engages artisans and small businesses in the historic center of Venice who are united in their commitment to environmental sustainability, and helps promote the upcoming Ocean Literacy World Conference in the local community. By showcasing a poster for the event and a symbolic spool of blue thread—a spool of ECONYL® regenerated nylon produced by Prada—the fil bleu is an expression of pride in belonging to Venice’s sustainable artisanal ecosystem, and a consolidation of this network of Blue Artisans.

The intertwining of the “Fil Bleu” initiative with the promotion of the Ocean Literacy World Conference is part of a synergistic approach to raising awareness about ocean conservation and sustainability in Venice. Through strategic partnerships and community engagement, UNESCO aims to leverage local businesses and artisans as catalysts for positive change, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future for our ocean and our planet.

The tour of the Blue Artisans

A free walking tour of the participating Blue Artisans took place on Saturday, 25 May, giving participants the chance to explore the artisans’ studios and learn about their work up close.

By sharing their stories of both ancient and innovative practices, the Blue Artisans of Venice reaffirmed the importance of environmental protection and the enhancement of the city’s cultural heritage, underscoring the importance of our ocean for the future of our planet, a theme that is central to the Ocean Literacy World Conference on 7-8 June.

The Blue Artisans will display a spool of the fil bleu in their displays until the end of the conference, symbolizing the bond between Venetian artisans, UNESCO, and the Prada Group. This thread, used in the Prada Re-Nylon collection, is made from recycled ocean plastic and represents a  shared commitment to environmental sustainability.

The journey will now be transformed into a digital guide to the Blue Artisans of Venice, weaving a tapestry that includes: Anita Cerpelloni’s paper folding, Davide Pusiol’s wooden musical instruments, Rubelli’s fine fabrics, VS Ceramics creations, Ramingo Lab’s jewelry, Meracu’s leather creations, talented men’s tailor Lara Perbellini, Maranteghe’s contemporary vintage, Francesco Giorgio Pastega’s artworks, designer Alessandra Micolucci’s expertly dyed fabrics using leaves and bark, the artist studio of Nelson and Olivia Kishi Codex Venezia, the Tintoretto Workshop, the bistro-bookstore Sullaluna, and many other local creatives.

Photos below by Paola Carluccio.