Ciao amici! Today was our last day of site visits, and we finished off with trips to Grupo Sinergia, Sartoria Cavour, and Mario Faroni’s Knitwear Factory.
Grupo Sinergia is an e-commerce company that is contracted by other businesses to provide logistics, packaging, and a medium for online retail, thus acting as a service provider in the supply chain. The firm is similar to Amazon in their business model, but one major difference is that Grupo Sinergia focuses more on the quality of shipping rather than the fast, one-day shipping focus of Amazon. This, along with my observation of Italian dining, display how Italian culture is much more slow-paced and quality-focused than American culture. From a sustainability standpoint, the presenter brought up how the firm uses recycled paper for the shipping of most products and that non-sustainable plastics must be used for fragile items. We were also shown one of the company’s four warehouses from which they ship over three thousand items per day. It was fascinating to watch the process of packaging and shipping, and also neat to see the rows and rows of Stock Keeping Units.
We then visited Sartoria Cavour, which specializes in producing men’s formal wear, especially suit jackets. Sartoria not only is contracted by fashion companies such as Ralph Loren, but also has walk-in custom tailoring available. In addition to the materials used in the production that included silk and bamboo (which was very smooth and light), we were shown the floor where all of their cutting and sewing occurs. After I asked an employee in Italian if the company also made gilet (vests), she became very excited that I knew how to speak Italiano, and before I knew it, I was having a conversation in Italiano with all of the employees! They showed great interest in what I thought of their country, and were very ecstatic when I told them about la mia famiglia in Calabria.
Our final site visit of the day and Plus3 was to MF 1, also known as the Mario Faroni Knitwear Factory. Mario himself was there to show us around his workshop, and he explained to several of us in detail the differences between the knitting machines. We were not not allowed to take pictures inside the workshop, but we were able to observe the employees creating meticulous and marvelous computer designs to be added by the machines, the cleaning of material by hand, and the quality inspection of the finished goods. Quality and reputation are critical to Mario Faroni, as the company has been contracted by big names like Gucci, Versace, and Armani. In MF 1’s fashion archive, we were able to see the last design of Gianni Versace before his death, which was a vibrant and colorful sweater that read “Miami”, along with pants ordered by Madonna for one of her concerts that she gave MF 1 two days to make, even thought they would take nearly three hundred hours to complete them; this exhibits the company’s dedication to preserving and increasing the value of their brand through excellent, fast service. We were also able to see Mario’s fashion school where students learn the necessary skills in order to be able to work in the knitwear industry, particularly how to operate the knitting machines through using retired machines as practice. Mario, his wife, and one of their designers, Nicola, all seemed extremely passionate about the fashion business and were delighted to have young students interested in the fashion business.
The warm and welcoming site visits during our trip were all educationally and culturally enlightening. I am sad that Plus3 is coming to a conclusion, as I will miss our group that has become very close over these past two weeks, but I will always contently hold onto our memories. Additionally, I am not leaving Italia just yet, as I will be flying south to Calabria on Sabato mattina to visit my cousins and meet up with my parents and brothers for our own tour of Italia. Plus3 has been a phenomenal experience, not only for learning more about supply chains and practicing my language skills, but also for the ability to meet and learn about so many great companies and the people behind them. I am very thankful and blessed for this opportunity and for all of i nuovi amici that I have made on this trip.
Grazie for following along on my journey, and I hope you enjoyed my perspective of Italia! Arriverderci Tutti e Buona Fortuna!