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Innovation, comfort, protection and sustainability - Il sole 24 ore

The future of workwear for Imbotex

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"Founded in 1955 in Cittadella (PD), Imbotex is a leading company in the field of natural and technical padding. Guided by the dynamic capabilities of its all-female staff, the company has been operating for years in a field characterised by a long history of manufacturing excellence. Taking advantage of the expertise acquired over the years, the company is now setting its sights on international markets."

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"Therefore, it has decided to take part in the A+A trade fair in Dusseldorf to present an exclusive upcycling and real circular economy project to the world of workwear. The concept of circular economy responds to the desire for sustainable development, in the context of the growing pressure of production and consumption on the world’s resources and environment. To date, the economy has operated according to a “production-consumption-disposal” model, a linear model where every product is inexorably destined to reach the “end of its life.” The circular economy, says Stefania Carniello – CEO of Imbotex – instead, is a new economic paradigm aimed at reducing waste and radically rethinking the design of products and their use over time. The transition from a linear to a circular economy is the only solution in terms of safeguarding the planet and economic sustainability that offers a new opportunity in terms of competitiveness, innovation, environmental protection and job creation.

This has led the company to take concrete action in rethinking its processes, intentions and supply chain relations, in which product and process technical skills are combined with commercial and marketing skills in order to enhance the innovative path taken; the presentation of products such as NATIVA, CAMELUXE and LUXEPAD at the most important sports fairs has led to the awarding of prestigious prizes in the sports sector. The latest was the BEST PRODUCT award in the Fibers and Insulations category at ISPO 2021, says Roberta Carniello, the company’s Sales Manager. Upcycling is a neologism that combines two concepts that do not always go together: on the one hand, the idea of recycling, and on the other, the idea of improving quality even if waste materials are used, hence the prefix “up.” Imbotex Lab was created in 2019, and has patented a completely mechanical process for recycling post-industrial, pre-consumer scrap, with zero waste, no use of water and eco-friendly.

This past year has also seen an important collaboration with D-Air Lab, a newCo founded by Lino Dainese. The Antarctica project was created to give scientists and researchers working in extreme climatic conditions an innovative piece of equipment, capable of effectively protecting them from environmental conditions without restricting mobility and hampering movements. The technical innovations contained within the Antarctica suit will enable researchers to carry out their tasks in Antarctica, the coldest place on earth, where minimum temperatures can drop to -89° C with winds of up to 327km/h. The outer suit is made by layering three different materials, each of these has a specific function to provide maximum thermal insulation. The layers closest to the body retain the heat and move moisture to the outside, while the outer layers keep the cold and wind at bay.

We have worked with the technical clothing manufacturer Alfredo Grassi S.p.A since 2016, a company founded in 1925 and now a major international group. Years of experience and a strong propensity for innovation have allowed Alfredo Grassi to design and produce technical garments for different working environments and for various high-risk situations, from chemical and electrical to fire and ballistic. “Innovation pervades at all levels of our business, from concept and production to customer services, and involves our entire supply chain,” explains the company’s president Roberto Grassi. “We are among the first to have introduced new processing and assembly techniques, new accessories and new materials—such as Graphene G+—into workwear. The aim is to offer maximum protection and comfort for garments that are worn for many hours in conditions that are often extreme. We’ve opted for the latest generation of smart labels, such as the Tracking Wash Sensor that transmits information about the garment throughout its life cycle. One of the very latest innovations we are implementing is the SizeYou smartphone app, which makes it easier to detect the anthropometric measurements and assign sizes.” In addition, the company’s commitment to sustainability is solid and certified both in social and environmental aspects. Even here, Alfredo Grassi aims to be at the forefront of the textile sector by being one of the first companies in Italy to obtain PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) certification for its products. This last certification in particular draws attention to the importance of the supply chain in a complex sector like that of technical clothing: from suppliers to customers, everyone must be aware of the importance of creating products that strive to be more innovative, sustainable and safe."