Imprima – Impressive Imprint
With style, fashion and design in its DNA, Imprima Group is set to become a benchmark for the European textile industry.
Imprima S.p.A. is a global holding company dedicated to development and innovation in the textile printing and finishing sector. Only established in 2017, the company has bold ambitions with its well-established brands, aiming to set a firm footing in global markets.
The company employs over 400 workers in its production plants in Italy, spread over a total of 40.000 square metres. Following an investment of over €25 million, the plants are equipped with state-of-the-art printing technologies with the capacity to produce more than 35 million metres of fabric. The advanced technology allows them to satisfy every customer requirement in terms of quality, printing type and service.
In addition to the Italian plants, the Group also operates a production facility in Brazil and has strong partnerships in Asia. “We have a strong culture from an industrial point of view with our digital and rotary printing, and we leverage our product offer based on our capability to be very fast and efficient in fabrics production,” says CEO Federico Benevolo.
The breadth of its offering, covering several brands with an impressive heritage, is one of the factors that differentiates Imprima from competitors. The group includes Germany-based KBC Fashion with more than 270 years of history and one of the best-known textile printing companies in Europe; Italian textile converters Guarisco and B-Blossom; SET, a promoter of fast fashion.
In 2019 the group added garments to its two key sectors. The garment business is run from Morocco, the group’s base for satisfying demand in Europe.
“Adding garments to our portfolio means that we can now offer solutions, not just products. This provides for more stability and enables further growth,” says Federico Benevolo, affirming that Imprima’s goal is not only to evolve as a company but to be a true game changer within the Italian textile sector.
Each new acquisition has added new skills, quality, creativity, and service. That is how Imprima has become a prominent brand in the market in just a few years. Among leading European textile companies, the Group acts successfully both in the “Collection” and “Fast Fashion” areas, with refined printed fabrics and finished trendy garments.
“In a nutshell, our wide offering, high efficiency and focus on sustainability are the key pillars of our power today, and our key differentiators,” affirms Mr Benevolo.
Major Role in the European Textile Industry
Imprima is one of the companies that is set to play a major role in the European textile industry, most of which had been relocated to the Far East over the last few decades. Mr Benevolo points out that
a reshoring of garments back to Europe can now be observed, as the reliability of deliveries is becoming increasingly important. This opens new opportunities for European companies.
“We now receive a lot of requests from retailers for garment solutions, and not only from European customers but also from companies in North America. We can deliver in two weeks to the East Coast, something which is not achievable from China.”
Imprima’s success is even more impressive given its short existence. The company started operations just before the global pandemic when it was developing its plants from scratch. Covid-19 brought everything to a halt. “We had to completely re-think our operation in terms of re-organising the two Italian plants, but also our internal structure in terms of positioning of the brands, as well as the internal synergy,” says Mr Benevolo.
“Our teams did great work during the pandemic and all credit goes to them. We are very proud of what has been achieved in such challenging circumstances. Our people have made sure that we are operating, making revenues and profits. That is very positive.”
Sustainability Printed in Mind
He points out that Imprima has invested heavily in the Industry 4.0 concept as well as in environmental protection. “We have completely refurbished our plans and are now aiming for ISO 50 000 certification, developed for organisations committed to addressing their impact, conserving resources and improving the bottom line through efficient energy management.”
“Globally, the fashion industry is the second worst in the world for air pollution and environmental impact. In fact, 10% of the carbon dioxide emissions released to the atmosphere comes from this segment.”
Conscious of this, Imprima Group has set for itself and its brands the ambitious and expensive goal of reaching net-zero GHG emissions by 2023, as part of its sustainable programme. The ambition is to become a world textile company with zero impact and the company has already started implementing actions towards this goal.
Mr Benevolo explains that the biggest challenge is water consumption – zero water is quite impossible with the current technology in the textile printing industry, but the company is striving to develop pigment production that does not need water. “We are not there yet but the situation may be very different in 12 to 18 months.”
The company is aware that to move the business forward, having the right talent on board is crucial. Mr Benevolo says: “While the textile industry in Europe is very old with a sound legacy of technologies and know-how, we want to have people on board that see the textile business differently, with a fresh approach and new ideas. We want people bringing innovation, bringing motivation to revive the sector that has suffered a lot over the few decades.”
With the right people, the company is set to regain its pre-pandemic market share, he affirms. “We are now thinking of investing in the US market and reinforcing our operation in Brazil.”
“And, of course, we are looking intensively at the Asian market; as a textile company, we have to be there. We cannot export to China from Europe. In any case, our growth strategy is clear – we want to drive the garment business in the United States, conversion in Brazil and reproduction in Asia. At the same time, we will strive to be a zero-impact textile company.”