The Italian entity, which was established in 2000 in the Lombardy region, has a peculiar business model. In fact, Brandart is not a manufacturer, but is a procurement company with a network of 150 production partners operating in different areas of the world. “This business model prevents our luxury clients to rely too much on a single supplier, as well as on a single geographic region,” said Rocco Colucci, Brandart marketing, communication and sustainability manager. “However, if the production is outsourced, we directly operate a range of services, spanning from creativity, design, R&D, as well as quality control and compliance.”
While Brandart assigns the production of clients’ orders to different suppliers, the company features dedicated teams able to verify the respect of quality, but also of social and environmental sustainability standards.
“The packaging industry is responsible for the consumption of 26 percent and of 50 percent of the plastic and paper, respectively, produced on the globe,” said Colucci, highlighting how sustainability stands at the core of Brandart strategies and practices. “We decided to address the issue adopting a vision inspired by circular economy.”
As Colucci explained, the company, which releases a sustainability report every year, mainly focuses on three different steps to reduce its overall impact. In particular, the company understood the important of redesigning packaging to make it more simple to reuse or recycle. “If a product is crafted from multiple materials, its waste management gets more complex. So our goal is to develop packagings mainly made of one material,” said Colucci.
At the same time, Brandart almost eliminated the use of virgin materials in favor of recycled ones. “The total of the fabrics we use is recycled, while 80 of the paper we employee is recycled,” said Colucci, also noticing that the company tends to avoid the use of pigments and additives that can compromise the quality of the products when it comes to post-consumer recycling. Colucci also highlighted that while in the industry there is currently a run to discover new alternative materials, it’s extremely important to take into account that in many cases there are not the right infrastructures to manage their end-of-life. “This is made also more complicated by the fact that every country follows different regulations in the waste management of materials produced with renewable sources.”
According to Colucci, Brandart also considers in its circular strategy the final step: logistics. “You can create sustainable products, but you can easily destroy all the benefits with transportations,” he said, adding that the company prefers sea and railway shipments. In addition, the company developed a global network of manufacturing suppliers able to respond to the demands of the local markets.
Since packaging is one of the tools that brands use to communicate their values, Colucci noticed that, considering that consumers are becoming more and more attentive to the supply chain behind the products they buy, it’s becoming crucial to start embedding into packaging technologies offering infos and details, including smart labels.
Brandart, which expects to close 2021 with revenues of 135 million euros, is expanding its business beyond packaging. Currently, 20 percent of the company’s revenues come from orders of merchandising products that brands can sell in their stores. “Some of our clients saw great potential in our model and realized that they can rely on us to develop more product categories,” said Colucci, highlighting that this is opening a new phase for the company, that can look at orders with a better marginality.