ALEMPLAST, High-end fashion and luxury, the true flagships
ALEMPLAST has been working for over twenty years in the design, moulding and sales of soles, footwear components and treads for the most prominent brands
ALEMPLAST took part in the latest edition of Lineapelle, held in October at the Rho- Fieramilano fairgrounds, and, once again, it established itself as a benchmark for the footwear sector, putting on display – in a beautiful, elegant stand, always crowded with domestic and foreign buyers – several innovations. With more than twenty years of experience, the Marche-based company is a true leader in the design, moulding and sales of soles, treads and shoes components available in an ample range of thermoplastic materials such as PVC, TPU, PU and cross-linked EVA foam featuring the brand ALight. Chosen as the main supplier by internationally renowned luxury and high-end fashion brands, ALEMPLAST is able to provide a comprehensive, traceable service, carrying out in-house all the stages of the processing cycle, so as to promptly meet all types of demands. “We proudly cooperate with internationally renowned labels,” explained Gianluca Menghi, owner of the firm, when we met him at the latest Lineapelle exhibition, “since we are specialized in the design and development of articles conceived for the luxury sector. Besides launching innovations, we provide the customer with an efficient service, able to reduce the development period, starting with an initial design that later leads to sampling and prototyping, up to the mass production of the article. Obviously, it’s a customized product, as we work side by side with the customers so as to better understand their specific needs and, therefore, to give life to an article that can fully embody their wishes and demands. We deem ourselves very good at our job, but we want to further improve, especially when it comes to the shortening of the time dedicated to project development. Nowadays, on average, the whole process takes 4 to 5 moths, from the early design up to actual manufacturing of the article: our goal for the future is to decrease this amount of time in order to guarantee a more efficient service to the brands that invest their resources and believe in us.”
Is this a market need? Or a precise business strategy? Both things. We believe that this strategy will actively contribute to the success of our company, while obviously maintaining top-notch quality standards and keeping investing in innovative products. For example, the materials we use are among the best ones currently available in terms of quality and performances. In the meantime, the global market is heading down this road: our main partners have been very clear about this, those who can provide a faster service, have more chances to sell their articles. Actually, when consumers go shopping, they are not necessarily loyal to a specific brand, but they often act on their emotions and sensitivity. Therefore, in order to increase sales capacity, you must achieve that goal as soon as possible.
In your opinion, what are the future prospects for the market? In a few years, the concept of season might disappear. By now, the most prominent brands can rely on a global network, constantly launching sample collections in different continents, conceived for opposite climatic conditions. Furthermore, some of the main international fashion houses sell solely in their own stores, based worldwide, and, for this reason, there is no longer need to develop samples for a given season. All in all, development will be ongoing, with no breaks.
Let’s focus on ALEMPLAST again: what about your export share? And how does the global market influence your performances? As I said before, we cooperate with luxury brands, whose facilities are mainly based in Italy, therefore, at the moment, our export share is not very significant, even though our products end up all over the world, especially in the USA and in several European countries. As far as market fluctuations are concerned, the footwear industry is going through a peculiar situation: the feeling is that companies are on the lookout for the perfect product, for something that embodies their policy, and we must focus on that. Actually, if we have a look at the sample collections of the most prominent fashion brands, you notice that they feature a significant number of models, yet not an ample variety, as the latter might result in a price increase.
What are the plans for the future? We want to keep strengthening our reputation as an enterprise fostering “made in Italy” excellence, able to stand out on the market for its steady commitment in terms of attention to details. Without a doubt, we are strongly bent on investing in the research and development of cutting-edge technologies that can guarantee flawless results and competitive performances. At the same time, we will aim for more sustainable, eco-friendly innovations. The problem is that, nowadays, eco-sustainability is often used as a mere marketing tool, a far cry from the truth. When it comes to the green sector, you must tread carefully: in our opinion, cross-linked EVA foam is the less polluting compound currently available due to its chemical composition as well as to its low specific weight. For example, with regard to a TPU sole, the specific weight amounts to 1.15 g/cm3, while, when using EVA, it reaches 0.30 g/cm3, that is, four times lower that the other one. Therefore, this means that, even though both materials had the same polluting capacity, EVA would result in a markedly lower environmental impact compared to TPU. As a matter of fact, it is not a coincidence that our company has always been investing in EVA, purposefully avoiding other compounds such as polyurethane foam, the latter acknowledged as a highly polluting agent, both in terms of manufacturing and of disposal, when it comes to soles-making. A concern shared by our most prominent customers as well. In order to validate these data, we are collaborating with some Universities so as to provide all the certifications that might effectively raise our customers’ and people’s awareness concerning the core properties of the main materials employed in our sector. www.alemplast.com