General Manager Art Lab (Elleti Group)
Winter 21/22 first season with Wiser Wash collection
Born in the early '80s as a small local laundry, Elleti soon became the center for reinvented denim treatments and till date remains a milestone for major Italian and international brands. With 8 production facilities based out of 3 countries, Elleti supplies complete denim service from concept development to industrial production of verticalised products. In a chat with Fibre2Fashion, Daniele Lovato, General Manager of Art Lab (Elleti Group), discusses the denim industry's evolution as witnessed by the brand through its 30 years journey, the cutting-edge dyeing and washing techniques it has adopted and major goals set for the company for the next 5 years.
Where does Elleti rank today in the world denim market and its home country Italy?
Elleti Group is one of the main players in Europe and in the Mediterranean area. Highly specialised in laundry and garment-making services, with a 15 million pcs/year capacity, evenly distributed through our 3 productive locations (Italy, Tunisia and Romania), we are supplying the high-end of the market with a denim product that covers a wide price-range.
How has the company grown through the years in terms of size, scale and revenue?
While maintaining the soul of a family business, Elleti group has been incessantly growing through some important acquisitions, collaborations and, most importantly, through the verticalisation of our operations and the widening of our product offer. The acquisition of the historical Italian "Martelli" laundry in 2016 and the joining of the Wiser Wash global network in 2019 are some of the latest events that shaped our growth in terms of both size and capabilities.
You have been associated with the denim industry for more than 30 years now. What have been your biggest learnings so far? How has the world of denim changed through different periods of time?
The advantage of being a player in the denim market is that you really get accustomed to change, radical and continuous. Denim is an ever-evolving product, and the market, the supply chain and the production methods evolves with it. What we have learnt in our journey is that whatever the direction, intensity, and speed of change--an authentic product, responsibly produced and passionately crafted, will always find its way to the consumer. Challenges like price pressure, shorter time-to-market, and global competition have been shaping the fashion business for over a couple of decades now, but luckily today those are not the only forces involved--sustainability and responsible production are becoming strong drivers of today's evolution of the product, and a more and more educated consumer is driving this change for good.
What are the strengths of Elleti as a denim manufacturer? What are the cutting-edge dyeing and washing techniques used by you?
Authenticity and sustainability are the keywords that shape our vision of the product. Denim is a fabric with a strong identity and history, and we believe in respecting its "soul" on all its declination, whether it's a classical vintage product or it's a hyper-fashion interpretation. On the sustainability side, the most cutting-edge technology we've adopted so far is the revolutionary "Wiser Wash" technology--a patented process that allows us to achieve the full discolouration of denim without any of the potentially dangerous chemicals involved in the traditional washing process, reducing in the meantime energy and water consumption by more than 50 per cent.?
How much denim is consumed in the Italian market? What are the factors it is dependent on?
Italian consumer has always been a denim-lover, owning more jeans per-capita that the world average. On the other hand, Italy never fully recovered from the crisis of the last 10 years, and the expenditure capacity is lower than in other European countries. Overall, Italy and Italian brands represent an interesting market, but with inherent difficulties that mainly depends on the less-than-optimal economic situation of the country.
Which are the international markets/players you are currently competing with?
The denim supply chain is global, and it has little sense today to approach the competition from a geographical point of view. Being positioned in the high-end of the product spectrum, our competitors are all those players that are able to provide a high-quality product and to abide the highest standard of production with fast lead-times. Logistically, the Mediterranean countries are rich in these kinds of players, and that's where the competition is stronger in this moment.?
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