Italian Mill Mario Cavelli Launches Sustainability Project

Official says sales down 20% in June, but equal in July as pandemic ebbs

September 1, 2020

BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy -- Mario Cavelli, a vertical mill for the curtain, contract, and residential markets, has released new sustainable fabrics, including flame-retardent-recycled polyester, to compete during the pandemic era.

Export Manager Paolo Andreoli says this is one of several changes the 87-year-old firm has recently undergone.

“What we are doing is try to transform a threat into an opportunity with the new collection, the Green Philosophy Project, a new website, just to mention a few,” Andreoli says in an email.

The company’s sustainability project involves a new dyeing process that reduces water, energy, and chemical use by up to 40% compared to standard methods.

It also means less costs.

“For us, as a manufacturer, it is quite easy to try to find the right way to save money in production day by day,” Andreoli says. “Our new project called the Green Philosophy Project goes in this direction as well.”

Due to COVID-19, Italy has undergone several lockdowns, especially in the “hot zone” around Milan. The Cavalli facility is about 10 minutes from the city in the Lombardy region – the epicenter of the epidemic.

In northern Italy, where the coronavirus crashed through cities from late February through April, officials credit the country’s turnaround to several factors including: a strict nationwide lockdown; widespread testing, strong contact tracing, and a very gradual process of reopening.

Even though there has been a huge drop in new infections – plummeting from a record high of more than 6,500 on March 21 to around 150 to 300 cases nationwide each day in early August, experts say they are preparing for an inevitable second wave. A similiar pattern has occured in Asian countries first hit with the virus.

Proposte, the international fabrics fair, was canceled this year because of the pandemic.

Even so, Cavelli officials have kept their facility open at a reduced capacity to “guarantee shipment to our customers during the lockdown,” Andreoli says.

He adds the company has lost 20% of its June sales compared to those in 2019, but sales have been equal in July.

“Why? Because our loyal customers found in our company a stable partner who can guarantee production on time, also during the lockdown, expecially for flame-retardant fabrics,” Andreoli says. “This helps us to restore the turnover [or annual sales] to normality now.”


The Cavelli, flame-retardant fabrics are ideal for contract curtains and decorations, officials say, and are made with Global Recycle Standard (GRS), polyester yarn, which are made from recycled plastic bottles.

There are fabric options including voile, etamine, and more as well as widths up to 340 cm, or 133 inches.

Officials add the colors are produced with dyed yarn using less water, while the soft feel is obtained through a natural-mechanical-finishing process that avoids the use of chemicals.

These fabrics are produced in Italy, and are fire-retardant and International Maritime Organization (IMO) certified, according to the company.

Andreoli says, “We’re crossing our fingers so everybody returns to business.”


Cavelli has new healthcare fabrics that are flame retardant and antibacterial; blackouts that are flame retardant in a width of 300 centimeters, or 118 inches; colors on velvet cationic, or mélange, that’s flame retardant; acoustic fabrics, and more.

Founded in 1933, Mario Cavelli is a major manufacturer of plain, yarn-dyed, and jacquard fabrics. The vertical mill carries out the production cycle on its premises, from the initial creative phase through the various stages in processing the fabric: weaving, dyeing, finishing, and testing.

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