Varcotex, an Italian vertically integrated company that manufactures hangtags, woven, printed, high-frequency and leather labels, and brand protection elements such as holograms, labels integrated with RFID and NFC circuits, woven QR code labels and other solutions using invisible ink, is now committed to pursue a green-minded strategy. It aims to reach its goal by offering a series of materials and fabrications that lead it closer to more sustainable operations and by sensitizing its clients on this matter.
Among its various projects, for f/w 2022-23 it has launched its new Hearthearth sustainable label collection made with sustainable materials and a series of Corporate Social Sustainability initiatives. Among them, it will produce its own social sustainability report and will start the process to convert itself into a B-Corp.
Varcotex ecofriendly label
Along with such initiatives, it has already started informing its stakeholders about its projects and certifications that include Global Recycled Standard, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, along with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
The company is based in Carpi, in what once was known as the knitwear district, and it produces and develops made-upon-request specific hangstags and labels for significant Italian luxury and fashion brands such as Gucci, Moncler, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Moschino, Alberta Ferretti, Max Mara, Jacob Cohen and Roy Rogers, among others.
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
It was founded in 1982 and bought in 2001 by its present owner, Paolo Munari. The company firmly believes in the importance to manufacture all its products, circuits and materials in Italy inside the company at “zero kilometer.”
Every day it produces 1.3 million woven labels, 1.1 million hangtags, one million printed labels for its over 1,000 clients with whom it collaborates and develops specific labeling and anti-counterfeit solutions–entirely traceable–upon request.
A weaving machine at Varcotex
“Varcotex sells over 90% of its production in Italy. If you manufacture elsewhere, you might say you feel lighter. But the impact of importing on CO2 is what makes the difference in a green-oriented business management. To quote Greta Thunberg, ‘We have to become aware of this climate emergency and do something to reduce emissions and try to save what we can.'"
Paolo Munari, owner, Varcotex
One its newest sustainably focused developments is Biolabel, an entirely woven ethical label made with 100% natural raw materials and is 100% biodegradable and 100% plastic free. It is entirely recyclable and renewable, obtained from organic compost, a cellulose paste, and compliant with FSC/SFI standards from reforestation programs and not derived from fossil materials. Its productive cycle is low-water consumption, eco-sustainable and clean as it produces non-harmful emissions.
It is delicate on skin, has a silky hand, is hypoallergenic and breathable and is respectful of the environment. The first brand that is using it is the Italian premium sportswear brand Herno.
Varcotex Biolabel, ethical, biodegradable, plastic-free label made with natural raw materials only
Varcotex also produces various types of paper hangtags including ecological and recycled papers, made by reusing scrap paper, and upcycled papers.
The latter ones are made from a variety of reused materials and vary widely in composition. Most contain cotton fibers, though also reuse agro-industrial by-products, such as citrus fruit, grape, cherry, lavender, maize, olive, coffee, kiwi, hazelnut and almond, giving each product an unusual yet refined look and feel. By-products from the leather and leather goods sector are also used to make leather papers suitable for luxury packaging and labeling.
A Varcotex label made with post-consumer fibers, leather and leather goods processing waste
While always developing new materials it has already presented different product lines made with alternative materials including, for instance, Mov, an ecological hangtag in paper made from 50% grass, as an alternative to the classic cellulose. Concreto is made from a recycled paper made from post-consumer cotton fibers and cotton textile waste. The Soya selection uses 25% leather and leather goods processing waste and post-consumer fibers, but also uses recycled industrial and organic apple processing waste. Other alternative labels are made of Piñatex, a derivate of pineapple leaves, and others are made with recycled cotton fibers or corn polyols.
Varcotex label made from 50% grass
“We work on true projects only,” commented Munari. “We are not simply manufacturers, but we also develop materials, study new productive techniques and repurpose productive machines in order to be able to offer alternative product solutions that can match our client’s most different needs,“ he continued, explaining that they also constantly develop new technical and digital solutions like, for instance, special QR code woven labels used for Mexican police uniforms. “As uniforms are often washed, printed QR codes end up fading. By weaving each of them carrying its own different QR code, they can withstand machine-washes for a long time.”
Varcotex QR Code woven labels
“We can meet most different requests from our clients, also specific stylistic ones,” continued Munari. “A few days ago, Gucci asked us to produce woven labels for their sneakers that had to look as if they were true vintage ones, and we succeed after a series of tries.”
The company is also involved in Varcobosco, a reforestation project meant to compensate CO2 emissions in Carpi’s surroundings. “Our Varcobosco was born in 2019, and it is our compensation project around the corner. It’s our neighbor wood, a true commitment also meant to requalify our industrial territory,” added Munari explaining that the company has bought the area where it has already planted 1,000 trees.