Interview with Candiani from Candiani Denim
Cutting machines for bespoke clothing manufacturing: less waste, more sustainability
After the meeting between FKgroup and Candiani Denim, a new cutting machine was born. Flexible, low consumption, light and quiet, Biliardo Sample has made a new way of making clothing possible and was created in the pursuit of those values of sustainability and circularity that characterise Candiani, one of the world’s most innovative denim manufacturers whose fabrics are used in the collections of prestigious fashion brands.
Candiani Denim has opened a microfactory in the heart of Milan where clients can buy completely customisable men’s bespoke jeans. The fabric is cut by the new FKgroup cutting machine designed specifically for this project. The idea behind the concept of the new shop is to use sustainable, zero-waste production.
Let Simon Giuliani, global marketing director of Candiani Denim, and Sergio Gori, managing director of FKgroup tell the story.
“We had the opportunity to build a machine founded on the values of sustainability which are both fundamental and inspiring to us.”
How the design of a customised cutting machine for Candiani come about?
Sergio Gori – At FKgroup we like to take the challenges that our customers give us head on. Each new project stimulates us. We get all the engineers and technicians together to start working on the customer’s requirements. When Candiani Denim told us about this revolutionary concept shop, we were delighted. We had the opportunity to build a machine founded on the values of sustainability which are both fundamental and inspiring to us.
Simon Giuliani – Candiani Denim has been a sustainable company since it began. The company is located in Robecchetto (MI) which is in the heart of the Ticino Park, the first river park in Europe. The company has to comply with strict regulations to produce in this area. We’ve always pushed for innovation and sustainability. Any company producing fabrics in Italy has to ask itself: why should a company buy from me? The answer isn’t price – it’s innovation. At the end of the 80s, Gianluigi Candiani had already created one of the first stretch denims to conquer the American market. Coreva, the latest product we’ve patented, is the world’s first 100% biodegradable and compostable stretch denim fabric thanks to the engineering of a natural, eco-compatible elastomer which doesn’t release microplastics once thrown away.
But when it comes to sustainability in the textile industry, the most important consideration is the issue of overproduction. And this is where our Candiani Custom project involving FKgroup comes in.
What does this new way of producing clothing allow?
Simon Giuliani – Fast fashion companies are reporting nine-figure numbers in unsold sales. Today, it is estimated that around 25 billion new garments are sent directly from the warehouses to landfills or are incinerated. This is a huge waste of raw materials and energy. Denim is a very large part of this. Overproduction is a major problem when it comes to sustainability. The Candiani Custom project addresses it. Years ago, we’d created temporary stores that reproduced the entire production chain and made made-to-measure jeans to raise awareness among our client companies. From there, we thought we’d pick that experience up where we’d left off with a project that would be educational for end customers and inspirational for the industry. Sergio Gori really supported me in turning this idea into a reality.
Sergio Gori – It was really a meeting between companies that have the same vision of production and industrial policy.
Simon Giuliani – Absolutely, and we managed to create a microfactory in the centre of Milan that brings together the excellence of Italian manufacturing and a production of jeans that touches on all points of sustainability while using all-Italian ‘ingredients’. We only make garments on request. There is no stock, no waste or unsold items and the product is designed for end-of-life so that it’s completely recyclable and bio-compostable, including the fabrics, sewing threads, buttons and labels. The store hasn’t only got a sales function but a training function as well which aims to raise awareness and proposing an innovative vision aimed at both B2C and B2B. It re-establishes a connection between buyers and makers, an ancient concept but remade for Industry 4.0.
Sergio Gori – It’s a fantastic project that has achieved all its objectives. And it was important for me to be part of it. It’s amazing to think that the cutting machine designed for Candiani Store has become part of our catalogue because of its huge success. This project has really shown a productive path that many people want to follow.
“The main feature is flexibility”
What are Biliardo Sample’s main features?
Sergio Gori – The main feature is flexibility. It’s a cutting machine that can be adapted to small spaces typical of a workshop or shop in city centres, especially in cities like Hong Kong or Paris where every centimetre counts. Logistics is one of its main advantages: Biliardo Sample can be dismantled and reassembled easily without expensive transport equipment. We were able to create a cutting machine that takes up a minimum of space and offers maximum cuttability. It’s got a useful cutting window of 2.7 m in a 4 m package. It’s small, but it has all the cutting-edge technology of FKgroup cutting machines inside. It consumes little energy, has air filters to trap the dust, is silent and has all the certifications of an industrial machine.
Biliardo Sample also uses low-power turbines. Thanks to our long-standing collaboration with Fanuc and Siemens, we were able to create a synergy between mechanics and electronics that allowed us to take advantage of this type of turbine.
Created for Candiani Denim, Biliardo Sample has a set of features that are making it very popular. It allows a new way of production in spaces and in ways that were previously unthinkable.
Simon Giuliani – We’re over the moon about this because we’ve become a hub which brings together the excellence of the manufacturing chain and shows what Made in Italy is capable of in terms of innovation, environmental and social sustainability.