Exclusive Talks with
Today we are guests in the Library of the ‘Accademia delle Scienze di Torino’, an institution founded in 1783 and still active in the promotion of research and culture.
Today more pertinently than ever, we will talk about research and technological innovation. We are here with Gianluca Traversa and Luca Sburlati and I would like to start by asking Gianluca how his company, which includes four divisions, has managed to endure a period of crisis that has lasted for more than a year now.
This difficult year has been a time of opportunity for us. In effect, being divided into four divisions has allowed us to collaborate jointly, in order to develop something new. So the CONSULTING division, the MEASURING instruments division, the LABORATORIES division, the TIME division have come together in developing products dedicated to the medical sector in the shortest possible time. We went from industrial products to medical products in the space of a week. This enabled us to turn a crisis into an opportunity, even staying in the black during a year of crisis
I would then like to ask the same question to Luca Sburlati: how in this moment of crisis have innovation and technology helped you?
For some years now, Pattern has been going through a process of completely redefining itself - in particular we have been looking to acquire new skills on our home territory, while starting working not only on men’s collections, but also women’s, through an acquisition of ROSCINI Atelier in Umbria and then, subsequently, through the acquisition in Emilia Romagna of one of the greatest specialists in the design of luxury knitwear. And this was our first asset - having the ability to be resilient across various product categories. The second was technology: without knowing that this pandemic was on the horizon, we had already started working on technological innovation and therefore prototyping in 3D; something that no one else internationally had done. Therefore, the pandemic set in motion a business opportunity that we did not have and that hadn’t existed previously. Thirdly, was the theme of sustainability - we were the first in Italy in the fashion industry to be ISG. Therefore, having external certification and having green credentials in corporate social responsibility and governance - also thanks to the listing on the Stock Exchange - actually allowed us to end 2020 only just below where we were in 2021, in the knowledge that the fashion industry saw an average drop of 30%.
After talking about current events as well as having a rather optimistic glimpse at the future, let's have a look at your origins. Gianluca, you have a very long history behind you, rooted in the mid-1800s. How important is heritage for you?
It is very important. Having a history of highly technical products combined with the fact that Allemanno has been present in the Turin territory for 150 years and continues to make such products to this day, is a great responsibility. However, bear in mind that such a responsibility has enabled us to be resilient by improving our products through time. In reality, when we were born in 1856, we were manufacturing the first stone-roller steam machines. Then we moved on to measuring instruments where for fifty years we were present on everything that moved - cars, trains, aeroplanes, submarines - until 2019, when our desire was to re-engage with people from past, like when we were in the cars of the forties and fifties. From there the Time project was born- a return to being present in the lives of ordinary people. That’s where this product was born, which actually turned into a new division where people work independently in tool production. We call them time gauges: they are measuring instruments. In fact, for all intents and purposes that’s how we treat them. They want to tell the story of a Turin company that has created the history of measuring instruments.
I would now like to return to Luca to ask him to go deeper into a concept that he has already mentioned, namely that of sustainability and responsibility towards people and territory. Can you tell us more about that?
Beyond having innovative and capable people and a sense of corporate social responsibility and training, we have always had two other important values within the company: the first is technology, which today can help a lot in being more sustainable. Imagine that it takes three or four metres of fabric to produce a beautiful evening dress for women. Well, through innovative prototyping technologies, the scraps of leftover material can easily be reduced by 30%. This is a clear example of how technology can help sustainability, but not only that; we need to start thinking about a circular economy when designing. The circular economy can be the future driving force for Italian fashion as well. We do it through one of our own brands called ESEMPLARE, which represents the pinnacle of Italian technology and ethics insofar as it uses essentially either regenerated fabrics, or fabrics that have a sustainable, traceable supply chain. This is an example of a Jacket that incorporates both technologies: you can see that it has 3 layers of joined fabrics and you can see that it has an internal thermostructure. Among other things, these are products that come from an Italian supply chain, so 100% of what I wear combines product regeneration with a home-based economy. We try to adopt this same technology even when we go to support large customers and top international brands in developing their collections.
We have met two entrepreneurs who have a lot in common, especially that of valuing being close to people - even worn by people - and lasting over time, with their roots tradition but always looking for technological innovation. These values also unite you in your choice to become part of the Exclusive Brands Torino network. How do you think this network can be useful to your businesses - and you to the network? I’ll ask Gianluca first.
I believe that EBT can give so much, not only to the companies within EBT, but also to all the companies present in the EBT area. It is clear that it must be a union of entrepreneurs who work together towards the common goal of relaunching this entire territory, thanks to their businesses and their ideas. But, above all, it’s about having a common idea, a common value of wanting to relaunch a territory like Turin that perhaps has been looking a bit grey. However, EBT or at least all the entrepreneurs who are present in EBT, think the exact opposite way: we have to stay in Turin, we have to expand Turin, continue to believe in it; not leave Turin, but to bring back production and do the things that we’ve always been able to do. We at Allemanno are an example of this - with 150 years of history - we simply have to believe in it, work more and try to leave something to our children, as our grandparents did for us.
Luca, what can you tell us?
From our point of view, Exclusive Brands Torino has two fundamental roles: the first is to be an aggregator of skills, know-how and intelligence. We have done that as a company, bringing together the very best in Italian excellence. We believe that the ability to be innovative in Piedmont can really become useful in generating supply chains emanating from this area and pulling together the best experiences that exist across all Italy. Secondly, there’s the world: today, there is a global demand for Italian lifestyle and this will grow more and more in the coming years. Here we are known for our leisurely lifestyle, which is something that new generations will clearly want to be part of - not only in Europe and the United States, but also in China. Let's see how consumers begin changing their attitudes. We need to showcase our Italian lifestyle, otherwise some other nation will come along an do it for us. So the second major role we have to play to make a supply chain both locally - with the innovation distinguished by our universities - and at the national level, as we are at the head of the supply chain.
Once again we have seen how there can be no big business and no level of excellence without responsibility towards one's own territory – from the past, through the present and into the future. Therefore thank our two guests for their commitment and the care they have for creating beauty in their products. Thanks again.
Thanks. Thanks to you.