Carlo Felice visits RIRI factory in Switzerland!
Having spent two mega-relaxing weeks in gorgeous Sardinia, it was time for us to get back in the swing of work. We arranged to meet two new suppliers of wool and cashmere in Biella, Italy, and to visit our usual silk providers from the Como area. However, what made me really happy was to learn that Andrea, Export Manager at RIRI Group, agreed to see us in their factory in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and tell us a bit more about the company, their wide and unique range of products and the production process.
Little did we know, that Mendrisio, apart from being home to RIRI factory, is also a place for luxury shopping. Here you will find a car park packed with luxury cars and the centre brimming with fashionable shoppers who come here for great deals off their favourite fashion brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, etc. Having spent some quality time browsing in the shops at Fox Town Shopping Centre we went to meet Andrea, and the Team.
Our first impressions were how bright and quiet the space seemed at the very entrance. We reported to the main reception and shortly after Andrea came down to pick us up. He arrived in an elevator, welcomed us with a big smile on his face and invited to follow him to his office. Having spent a few minutes discussing our interest in partnering up with RIRI and us providing a brief feedback on the RIRI zippers we were currently using for our prototypes, we proceeded to the factory to take a closer look of how the zippers are made. And what a treat that was!
We were first introduced to the initial process- a storage room where the tape is delivered from another RIRI factory in Firenze, Italy, and where the creation of the zippers starts. The choice of colours is just overwhelming; we had to order a hefty colour card for future projects, as the variety of shades is just astonishing. Then we moved on the the area where the specially polished zipper teeth are applied to the tape. Unfortunately, I was not able to take the picture of the machine that is responsible for this task, as it is a bespoke-made, purpose-build beast, and not to mention- RIRI’s best kept secret that has lead them to their immense success on the market. Interestingly, RIRI had the machine built especially for them, and there is no another like this one in the world!
The factory produces circa 15,000-30,000 metres of zippers a day, sustaining same impeccable quality and attention to detail.
Then we were shown the process of attaching the pullers to the previously joined teeth and the tape, as well as demonstrated the galvanising process. The zippers and pullers undergo this treatment to sustain best quality and maximum longevity, and it is achieved by coating the pullers with a protective layer of zinc. You can even get hand-pained pullers for even higher quality.
Every client at RIRI is treated individually, and the timescales of preparing each individual order takes 4-8 weeks. This is how special their product is and how long it takes to get the best quality. But, hey, don’t they say: good things come to those who wait?
The factory was brimming with movement and colour, and you could see how investing in creative solutions and experienced and passionate staff got them where they are now- market leader and one-stop-shop for luxury zippers.
We are immensely grateful for Andrea’s and the Team’s time, as well as their hospitality and dedication to customer service. We are also thrilled by the fact that Carlo Felice will be using the best quality accessories for their upcoming collections, and offer truly best quality and longevity for our clothes.
Stay tuned, as the first collection is coming soon!
Thank you! Grazie! Mahalo!
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