The Italian supplier Manteco supplies sustainable fabrics of the best quality to luxury brands, but also to low-cost brands
Is it possible to find a high-quality garment in a store belonging to a low-cost clothing chain? Despite what you may think, yes, it is possible to buy a piece made with excellent materials in a place like Zara, Mango or H&M.
The largest of the jewels that can be found in these three popular brands have a common denominator: the pieces made with the fabrics provided by Manteco, an Italian company of recycled wool with designation of origin, with which the ‘low cost’ make their tasty coats that have great durability.
Manteco has been supplying luxury houses such as Prada and many others belonging to the most important luxury conglomerates for decades, Kering -owners of Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta- and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy -owners of Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Loewe or Marc Jacobs-.
Since the end of 2019, the label of the knitter from the transalpine country can also be found sewn on the linings of garments sold at Zara, Mango or H&M. These are pieces of coat that dot the different winter collections after the agreement reached by the firms with the prestigious textile supplier.
Zara is the one that offers the most interesting coats, with prices around 130 euros, and it is possible to find a piece at half price in the sales. A textile investment that is well worth it.
To get hold of one of the coveted garments by fashion connoisseurs, you have to be quick, since there are usually not many models available. To differentiate them, in addition to the cost, somewhat higher than the rest of the coats offered by low-cost brands, you can see a label sewn into the lining, which in the case of the Inditex brand, on the back, reads ‘100% fabric by Italian Fabric, this is a recyclable fabric designed to guarantee high standards of durability’.
Zara’s collaboration with Manteco forms part of the program developed by Inditex to guarantee compliance with its social, environmental and health and safety standards for its garments.
Manteco is a flagship of the textile industry that has been producing high-quality circular fabrics since 1943, when Enzo Anacleto Mantellassi founded the company after buying a semi-destroyed spinning mill in Prato, Tuscany. At that time, Italy was in a crisis due to the war. Among the goods that were in short supply was wool to make clothes. Mantellassi realized that military blankets and garments were made of high-quality, extra-fine worsted wool, so he acquired those that were no longer used to transform them and give them a second life.
Each garment was shredded to create woolen threads, all without the use of chemicals, simply through a wet, mechanical process. A process that is still used today.
At first there were restrictions on the material, which created thick threads, and also on the color – military green, khaki, brown and navy blue – so Mantellassi initially used them for heavy blankets instead of woven fabrics. Over the years, he expanded the business with a system for hand-grading garments and blankets based on composition and micronage, after which they were further graded by color and shade to create homogeneous bales. . All the pieces were crushed and prepared for the carded spinning processes.
Over the years, the family business, now in its third generation, has perfected the recycling process. They are now capable of producing an infinite range of colors from undyed regenerated wool, and also offer a wide range of luxury fabrics with different constructions and finishes. Behind its ecological approach and its top-quality fabrics, there is a network of local artisans and small businesses that follow its high production standards, with a zero-waste system.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.