On May 8, 1961, Romeo, Gianni, Luigi, and Mario Mainetti started a little company with a big dream. From its humble beginnings in San Quirico, Italy, Mainetti established itself as a reputable, reliable partner to retailers and brands. Over the past six decades, our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and high quality products fueled our growth and expansion across the globe. Today, we build on this legacy, providing innovative and sustainable solutions that shape the future of retail and the fashion industry.
It was the early 1950s in Vicenza, Italy, and a talented automobile mechanic named Romeo Mainetti found employment with the esteemed race car drivers named The Marzotto Counts. The Marzotto Corporation was led by the textile pioneer Count Gaetano, who had begun capitalizing on the growing demand for ready-made suits. While working with Count Gaetano, Romeo heard about the challenges in the fashion industry, including sourcing garment hangers for the company. The only option was the wooden hanger, and timber was limited in supply. The product was also bulky, expensive, and hard to procure. Romeo partnered with his brother Mario, who worked at a plastics company, to invent a new product – a high quality, ergonomically-designed, plastic hanger, capable of being mass-produced through injection-molding processes. It was the beginning of an extraordinary journey for the Mainetti brothers. Romeo and Mario, with Gianni and Luigi, formed a new business to serve the Italy suit market. Together they discovered a passion for quality craftsmanship and product innovation, values that would lead to innovations that would transform retail.
In 1961 the Mainetti brothers joined forces to create Fratelli Mainetti, laying the groundwork for a thriving enterprise. In their inaugural year, they set up their first workshop, where they designed and produced the hangers that would become the cornerstone of their business. The brothers swiftly gained a reputation for their ability to serve their customers and customize products to meet their needs. Every hanger showcased the Mainetti brother’s commitment to quality and innovation. Mainetti soon became the go-to supplier for the major garment manufacturers across Italy. As demand for Mainetti products increased, the brothers ventured beyond their hometown, ultimately relocating their operations to Castelgomberto. By the end of the 1960s, the Mainetti brothers began to look for opportunities beyond the Italian borders.
It was 1973, a watershed year in the history of Mainetti as it marked the beginning of its new partnership with an international group with global industrial and commercial experience. Mainetti’s immense potential for international success coupled with their sound business ethics and people-oriented approach greatly appealed to their new partners. Consequently, this powerful partnership, which continues to this day, became the catalyst for Mainetti’s accelerated international growth.
The focus of Mainetti’s corporate social responsibility efforts has been to improve the health, well-being and living conditions of its employees and their communities. Mainetti has a history of making an impact through local, community-based activities. Starting in the 1960s, the Mainetti family turned their passion for cycling into donations to support youth cycling in Northern Italy. Through Mainetti’s donations, children and teenagers have received new bicycles, helmets, and equipment to help them live a healthier lifestyle.
In the 1970’s, with a global business partnership and a bold strategy, the company embarked on its initial phase of growth. Mainetti now had the resources to move forward with the goal to provide hangers to retail and brand clients on an international scale. The brothers understood the importance of acquiring industry expertise to make informed decisions during this expansion era. To compete in the global market, Mainetti adapted its management structure and entered new territories. The company established its first manufacturing operation outside of Italy in the United Kingdom (pictured), and soon expanded into France, Germany, and the Netherlands. By the 1980’s, Mainetti was entering a period of intercontinental expansion. They saw an opportunity to bring their products to the Americas and opened their first operation in Canada in 1983.
In the 1980s, Mainetti revolutionized the retail industry by introducing hanger reuse and recycling programs, placing sustainability at the forefront of its mission. We launched the world’s first biodegradable hanger, setting the stage for the adoption of eco-friendly practices within the industry. Mainetti also implemented a recycling initiative called Hangerloop, which enables clients across the globe to return used hangers for repurposing into new ones. This approach extends the lifespan of hangers and increases their circulation within the environment. Mainetti remains committed to innovation in pursuit of a more sustainable future, which not only benefits the planet but also provides customers with the assurance that they are supporting a brand that values environmental responsibility.
During its second phase of growth, Mainetti concentrated on extending its reach to the Far East, necessitating a market-specific strategy and an understanding of leveraging acquisitions for business growth. The acquisition of Pendy Plastics in 1996 marked the beginning of Mainetti’s foray into the Far East. This move established a robust presence for Mainetti in the growing markets of India and China, unlocking fresh opportunities for expansion. This strategic acquisition signified Mainetti’s ongoing commitment to enhancing its global footprint and solidifying its position in the worldwide market.
Mainetti opened a factory in Chennai, India in 2007, which became the first in the company to be recognized for environmental performance with Platinum Green Factory Certification. In 2012, Mainetti created its sustainability charter, entitled Plan-M, which positioned Mainetti as a “sustainability-first” company. Plan-M has been expanded and renamed Full Circle, encompassing Mainetti’s commitment to decarbonize its operations and promote the circular economy.
In the 2010s, the world was changing and purchasing habits with it. Consumers were moving away from shopping malls and big box retailers to make purchases from the comfort of their homes and offices. Mainetti leadership made a calculated decision to diversify its portfolio and make significant investments in flexible and structural packaging for retail and e-commerce. Thus began a decade of expansion for Mainetti in packaging and branding solutions. The company was on its way to becoming a one-stop-shop for apparel retail supplies across the globe.
The establishment of Mainetti Australia in 2014 marked our expansion into six continents, allowing us to provide sustainable retail solutions worldwide. We connect our clients with seasoned professionals who comprehend the unique requirements of each market. Our success can be attributed to the high-quality products we produce and the unwavering dedication of our team. Leveraging our extensive network of industry partners, we are equipped to deliver solutions that address the demands of the global market today.
Mainetti has long been a recognized leader in the global circular economy, with a 60-year legacy of design, innovation, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. To celebrate our 60th anniversary, we announced the Mainetti Global Forest project, where we planted over 6,000 trees across six continents; and our commitment to planting trees continues. This ongoing initiative benefits the environment, supports our goal of decarbonizing operations, and strengthens our dedication to the circular economy.
In 2021, we also joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, further strengthening our commitment to the circular economy. By partnering with this influential organization, we are expanding our network of resources and knowledge to advance sustainable practices within the industry. As we mark this milestone anniversary, Mainetti remains dedicated to fostering a more sustainable future and driving positive change in the retail landscape.
Mainetti’s commitment to expansion and innovation shines brightly in our acquisitions of Reca Group, The Star Group, and Centurybox Group. These new partners empowered us to create even more groundbreaking products while solidifying our position as a global leader in retail solutions. Together, these acquisitions amplify Mainetti’s mission to provide exceptional value to our customers while championing sustainable growth. Our unwavering dedication to innovation unlocks a world of potential, forging a promising future for Mainetti and our clients. As we continue to invest in our capabilities and explore new markets, our focus remains on revolutionizing the retail landscape, nurturing a sustainable tomorrow, and upholding our legacy of excellence. Join us on this inspiring journey as we embark on an exciting new chapter in Mainetti’s story.