Creativity Meets Sustainability

The charming story of a creative talent thrived during harsh times for the whole world and proven to be an aesthetic discovery as well as a good practice for the environment.

Jan 2022

The roads of destiny are infinite, in fact it is possible that a girl who has dreamed of becoming a doctor since she was a child, then discovers that she “hates the sight of blood” and finds her true professional vocation in the world of numbers and finance. And then, even rediscovers herself as a designer in all respects, as an adult, also thanks to a certain "creative immunity".

This is more or less the route by Chiara Chironna, today the Finance Controllership Leader of Avio Aero. After graduating in Economics and Business Administration, she immediately joined the aerospace sector, dealing with accounting and balance sheets in the former Fiat Avio, which about 13 years later became part of General Electric.

Chiara was born in Turin and is a great lover of swimming but also of thrillers and cooking. She lives with her husband, teenage daughter Giorgia and a "beautiful cat found in the mountains and it was love at first sight” and has recently discovered, just in the last 18 months, that she has another talent, in the art of sewing. Specifically, as a designer and creator of handmade bags made from waste or discarded materials.

What does "being creative" mean to you and how important is it to be creative, in life and in work? 

"To me, being creative means being mentally open, willing to have new experiences every day and then put them into practice. Creativity requires passion, energy, and a desire to know and learn. All of this, however, must come hand in hand with a love for what you do. I love gifting an object that I have created with my hands, where you can see all the care that was put into it. You don't have to be a famous artist to be creative: each of us, in our own way, is 'an artist' in what we do. You can study the basics of a wide variety of techniques, but in the end, each and every one of us has our own creativity that sets us apart from the rest."

Chiara Chironna, Finance Controllership Leader at Avio Aero.

I welcome the thought that environmental sustainability should be a condition of continuous, steady, progressive development, and it must ensure that the needs of current generations are met without compromising those of future generations

And what does "sustainability" mean to you?

"There's a lot of talk today about sustainability. Personally, I welcome the thought that environmental sustainability should be a condition of continuous, steady, progressive development. And it must ensure that the needs of current generations are met without compromising those of future generations. Sustainability must be part of our daily way of life. All of us can and, above all, we must take action every day to safeguard the planet: for ourselves but, in particular, for our children and future generations. Recycling is an extremely simple, but important, example. It's an act that involves us on a daily basis and, if done correctly, can certainly yield benefits."

How did your passion for 'creative sewing' and the idea of using recycled materials, such as advertising banners, for your creations come about?'

"It all came about by accident, during lockdown. It’s true, unlike others, we were able to continue working thanks to Smart Working and that didn't take away from the fact that I spent weekends at home. By chance, browsing social media, I read some posts about creative sewing and tried to find out more about it starting with tutorials on the internet. I became more and more passionate about it until, at the end of lockdown, I started taking specific sewing classes, where I met an artist who creates bags using various recycled materials, including movie banners."

What drew you to this creative technique, and what does the fact that you are salvaging used objects actually mean to you?

"Creative recycling means giving new life to old items: in addition to avoiding extra expense - expense which isn’t always planned - it has a significant effect on the fact that less waste is created by 'fixing' an old item rather than throwing it away for a new one."

Do you use your creativity to help charities or support social projects?

“Yes. I took part in a fundraiser on Social Media organized by a group of artisans. The proceeds from the sale of some small bags went to the local Turin initiative 'Salviamo Paolo', a little boy - only 20 months old - suffering from a rare form of SMA1. When the opportunity arises, I donate some of my creations to our local Church fairs and also to fundraising events at my daughter’s school.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals by UN.

Choose one of the sustainable development goals on which you think more should be done and why?

"It's definitely not easy to make a choice! They are all important and interrelated. You need to understand if you are more interested in improving the situation of today or are far-sighted and think about acting today for a more "livable" future. Fighting for climate change, life on earth, life underwater, for example, these are all actions that if done today can lead to positive results that will last into the future... Fighting hunger, reducing inequality, defeating poverty, are all current needs that, if neglected, do not guarantee a ‘potential' future. For that very reason, as they are all important anyway, I couldn't pick one in particular."