Today marks Assopiuma’s launch of a series of interviews aimed at shedding light on the manufacturing facilities, processes, and values of its members. The first conversation is with Molina, a company which has now reached its fifth generation and has always invested in innovative processing systems to ensure the highest quality and customisation of feather products.
“Being part of an association means sharing information, projects, issues, and discovering multiple solutions that are triggered precisely by this group action. Acting as a group with a vision of the future is always synonymous with progress and evolution.”
When were you born and with which outlook?
Well, the answer to that question is rather complex, since the company Molina was established in 1890 as a family business, in particular a trading company (import – export) for down and feathers. Over the next years, often on the occasion of generational changes, it went through a profound evolution: it set out as a company processing down and feather and then opened up towards other complementary activities such as polyester and natural fibre processing, mixing feathers with fibres, textile finishing, and the production of made-up articles for beds. Today we have reached our fifth generation, we are always open to innovation, and aware of evolving market needs.
Why do you think it is important to invest on feather products as a company?
Feathers have been our core business for five generations, they are our tradition! A tradition that lasts in time because we are talking about a natural product, which is isolating, hygroscopic, comfortable for every kind of use and, in certain ways, irreplaceable. In addition, in a world that is increasingly focused on sustainability, feathers are are recyclable and biodegradable product (tests performed at the Hoenstein laboratory have proven that feathers degrade by 97.4% in a timeframe of five months).
How have your operations changed over time?
Our manufacturing process has not undergone drastic changes over time. What has changed is certainly our working methodology: today we can access much more technical and technological information, we use management systems for our production batches that allow us to trace every batch and we rely on a management and control system that imposes weighted and consistent choices. Just as importantly, we have introduced many improvements in our processes to reduce the use of water and electrical power, which are increasingly valuable resources today.
What are your company’s strong points?
The continuous search for materials and innovative processing systems has always been our main priority. But we also consider ourselves to be a highly flexible company, which easily adapts to the increasing need for customization and tailoring of products to the demands of each individual client, as well as the need to offer good service overall.
What is the current evolutionary trend in your industry?
Our company mainly moves in three industries or market segments: apparel, furniture, and bedding. Three very different market segments, which, however, have all recently been impacted by the reduction in people’s spending power and strong inflation combined with the increase in energy costs.
Has there been a particular moment that marked a leap in your company’s evolution? If so, what was it and why…
I would say we could identify four key stages in the company’s evolution:
- The introduction of the bedding segment in 1980 with the production of finished products (duvets and pillows)
- The application of substantial changes to our plant’s operations in 1982, which allowed us to start personalising products.
- The substantial use of down by leading companies in the fashion industry.
The introduction of down alternatives in 1990, padding products in polyester fibre and products in intimate mixture.
How does your product distinguish itself from the competition?
As I was mentioning, it stands out due to the possibility of customizing the products to best respond to every need. But it was also extremely important to implement internal lab activities that allow us to constantly check the performance of our products and guarantee a homogenous quality that remains constant in time.
What are the “key” factors that determine the success of a quality product?
Certainly good value for money is key to gain the client’s trust. In addition, we have always chosen to use top-quality raw materials that allow us to sell products that guarantee a good performance over time.
Who are your clients in Italy and abroad?
We mainly sell raw material that will be used as padding. Indirectly, we sell to the ten most important brands in the fashion industry and to the most prestigious brands in the furniture and outdoor industries. The line of finished bedding products is mainly distributed in Italy and in a part of our international market.
Why do you think it is so important to invest and make Assopiuma grow?
First of all, we are proud to be a part of an association like Assopiuma and were one of the founding members when it was established in 1981 following the strong wish of various companies in the industry to provide clarity on the market. Investing and letting the association grow is important even now that the brand is well known on the market. Information for consumers is still a key point to favour quality purchases that reward our internal market and excellences in the various industries in which we operate.
What advantages do you see for companies in being associated with Assopiuma?
Our members all commit to respecting a very high-quality standard. The Assopiuma label guarantees the quality the manufacturer declares.
Then there is one more aspect that should be kept in mind: being part of an association means sharing information, projects, issues, and discovering multiple solutions that are triggered precisely by this group action.
Acting as a group with a vision of the future is always synonymous with progress and evolution.