Hi all, my name is Marco and I’m one of the architects of the YourMadeInItaly.com project, and I would like to introduce myself to this forum not merely promoting our website as only a skilled salesman could do but, on the contrary, by speaking to you about the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect.
What do you think of when people mention Italy?
Its splendid and historical cities like Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence?
of the big names in music like Pavarotti, Bocelli, Verdi?
of its great painters, like Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli?
of great writers, like Dante Alighieri or Petrarca?
of the absolute geniuses, like Leonardo Da Vinci or Galileo Galilei?
Or, in a more recent context, of the supercars, like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati…?
But the big names in fashion are particularly famous: Valentino, D&G, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, Ferragamo…
Italy!! Such a small country that for centuries has given birth to so many geniuses and artists, who with their work, innate talent and products have contributed over the years to creating what is now a universally known brand for its quality, unique design, luxury, style and prestige: ‘Made in Italy’.
Have you ever wondered what the real secret of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand is?
Despite an increasingly newer, more aggressive and better-equipped competition, Italian products are still the ones par excellence, the most sought-after, but even the most imitated and copied.
Why? What is the secret?
No one manages to match Made in Italy's quality, especially no one can match the continuous search for detail, accuracy, that creative element that makes an Italian product different and better than all the others.
So, is quality the secret?
No, ‘Made in Italy’ is something different, something unique. It’s a product made of selected raw materials, elements which add value, fine details. Not only that; it's also about craftsmanship, innate creativity, new ideas, love for challenges and artisans’ unequalled ability to craft unique products, each one different from the other.
But, what is a craftsman?
The concept of the craftsman is often associated with hard, strenuous work, poorly paid and unqualified.
At times this is the case, but I would say that there is much more.
Those who know how to do something concrete and tangible, who know how to create an object from scratch, how to transform raw material into a work of art, in my opinion have true wealth in their hands.
Today’s work world is increasingly geared towards virtual work activities, which generate intangible results. But it is said that the true wealth of a country is given by what that country with its work system is able to create, to make with materials and talent.
Italy has numerous craftsman traditions, for example the industrial districts of textiles, glass, ceramics, iron, leather, food, etc.
While they have traditionally been based on manual labor, over the years they have adapted to highly technological work processes, while maintaining the ancient skills of the master craftsmen.
Nonetheless these jobs, and these workers, struggle to survive. And the cases are numerous. In 5 years, Italy lost 75,500 artisan companies and as of today, this industry has less than 1,380,000 active companies, employing around 1,500,000 employees. Between 2008 and 2013, the textile, clothing and woodwork industries were hit the hardest by the financial crisis; the employment rate dropped by 109,250 workers (-23.9%).
Technology, digital advancement, e-commerce, low cost mass production, high fixed costs, bureaucratic difficulties and credit lines are amplifying and accelerating the death of an artisan industry that is still accustomed to a slow pace, and pen and paper instead of pc and tablet.
Are these two realities ever going to coexist? What if they could cross paths and give life to a new way of purchasing products?
This is where our project YourMadeInItaly.com comes into play.
Everything starts with the desire to bring prestige back to all those ancient artisan traditions of our Bel Paese which have for years and decades helped Italian products become THE products par excellence.
Too often we find shops full of products labeled ‘Made in Italy’ that are actually only partially assembled in Italy at best, while the core manual labor is outsourced to a foreign workforce with questionable professionalism...
For us, Made in Italy means something that is designed, developed, created, finished and packaged by artisans who are Italian and work in Italy. We also take it one step further and connect you with the same artisans who will make you touch and feel all the passion behind a genuine artisan product. We are making contact between two diametrically opposed worlds in need of each other: the small-scale craftsmen with innate artistic abilities on the one hand, and an increasingly demanding and refined web community in continual growth, on the other.
Imagine being able to wish for a product made exclusively for you, a unique piece, perhaps coming from your own imagination or a drawing you made. Made in Italy, by true Italian artisans, and labelled 100% Made in Italy.
You may be asking yourself what products it’s possible to have made…
There are numerous craftsmen and new ones are joining the project, each specialized in a specific area. For now, we have started with leather and our current artisans are able to create belts, bags, briefcases, and other small-scale leather products.
We use the vegetable tanned vachetta Tuscan leather that has a lot of pros. Plant extracts are the secret of the slow and natural process which maintains unaltered the properties of the leather, exalting its quality and fragrance.
This guarantees individual features such as softness, warmth, resilience and durability over time.
The Pros of vegetable tanning are:
- most of the hide comes from the food industry, so no animals are killed just for their hide,
- no toxic substances are used, such as synthetic dyes, nickel, pentachlorophenol or chromium IV. Those substances are noxious for both nature and humans,
- no hide is the same as another: grain, tone, color, thickness and softness may vary, this is a guarantee of natural and handcrafted features,
- Plant extracts contribute to enriching and giving that unmistakable scent to leather,
- Leather improves with age. Without chemical substances, colors slowly alter, assuming slight tone variations. The hidden grain can come to the surface. It is enriched over time, gradually taking on traces of your experience in an unrepeatable way. The scent of it mixes with your own.
We even make custom-made buckles: nickel-free, with gold, palladium, ruthenium finishing …
Our idea of ‘custom-made’ is so precise that each client’s needs are listened to attentively. Projects, ideas, objects, whether handmade or engraved, or even products created with attention to detail from not as well-known sectors…
Possibilities are endless and the only limit is your imagination.
In conclusion, I hope to be a useful resource for this forum and to bring our full contribution.
Feel free to PM me anytime or contact me through YourMadeInItaly.com with your ideas, projects, suggestions and designs in order to see them created by true Italian artisans, because we believe that true luxury is having something custom-made.
Over the next weeks, I’ll be giving you a taste of the products and custom-made projects completed recently, but for a complete overview of our project, don’t miss to follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages.