Today we headed back to Milan and visited three companies along the way. Our first stop was Gruppo Sinergia which helps companies who want to sell things online. They offer many services including analysis of packing to optimize costs, reducing time used to process orders and even have a secure bunker that can only be opened by ones fingerprint to house any valuable objects. Gruppo also has a highly advanced tracking system that enables them to know where every product is at any moment, which is impressive given that they ship on average 3,500 things every day. This company has an unusual design compared to other Italian companies, as is it made up of around 45 people, 12 work in the warehouse, 15 in customer service center located in the building we toured and the remaining working in the sales department and website design. Something I found interesting about this company was that it has not lost a customer in the last 10 years which is very impressive and something that not many companies would also be able to say. All of their warehouses are located in Verona, which shows just how important Verona is to the fashion supply chain. Gruppo’s main services are logistics and transportation, so any left over products are not handled by them, but by their clients. One thing I found unique is that they change the type of packaging based on the clients wants, however they try to use recycled paper as much as possible so they are not wasting plastic and harming the environment. A difference that I saw was Amazon for example is similar in the way that it ships out lots of products from many different companies, however if you want to return something from Amazon you have to print the label yourself, but for Gruppo they send a return label in every package.
We then walked a few minutes to Sartoria Cavour. This company creates high quality men’s wear and has been around for the past 30 years. Here there are 30 tailors that produce everything they make by hand. The owner gave us the tour so it was cool to see how excited he was to show off his company. Sartoria Cavour has two parts, the first is doing commission work for large brands like Ralph Lauren, the second part is the make individual made to measure suits, shirts and jackets. More than anything they make jackets, and someone can walk in and get one made to fit them perfectly at any time. The most interesting part of the visit was that the building was not very big, but they do all of the tailoring beginning to end there. The tailoring process is divided by type of fabric, wool, linen, bamboo, cotton, silk, etc.
Something that I did not know was that many large companies prefer to use multiple smaller companies such as Sartoria Cavour to make their products. It now makes sense why the high end brands are able to charge so much for their products, because everything is made by hand in smaller companies. This was one of my favorite company visits because it felt so personal since it was given by the owner which is something that is very rare.
After leaving Sartoria Cavour we got back on the bus and headed to our final visit of our trip. On the way we stopped on a bridge that had beautiful views. It reminded me how pretty and peaceful Italy is. Once we arrived at the Mario Faroni Knitwear Factory everyone was in awe of how beautiful the company was. We unfortunately could not take pictures inside the factory because everything they were working on is top secret and has yet to be released. MF1 is made up of 75 artists, and they work with designers such as Gucci. They first design the patterns on the computer and then it is transferred to the fabrics. The way that all of the pieces of clothing starts from one thread is amazing to watch. The other great thing about MF1 is that they have their own fashion school that teaches individuals how to be successful in every part of the fashion industry, from design to tailoring to even more specialized fields. The students even learn how to sew using the professional machines so they are prepared to work professionally right away. They also host a fashion show at the end of the year to showcase all of the students designs. MF1 also has an archive of all the pieces they have created which was incredible to see. It was also amazing because Mario Faroni was with us on the tour and for someone who is so successful he was very humble. This was by far my favorite company visit because there was so much to see and it truly was the perfect company to end with.
The long bus ride back to Milan gave me time to reflect on how much I have learned and grown on this trip. I am truly going to miss Italy and have enjoyed every minute spent here. The beauty of this country is unmatched, and I have made memories that will last forever. Tomorrow is our farewell lunch, and I am truly sad that my time in Italy is coming to an end.
As this is my last blog post, I want to thank everyone for coming along on this journey with me, and one final time Ciao!