Forbes Italia - April 2022 (written by Andrea Salvadori)

Sport, Italian style

Led by the Gandolfi family since 1988, Erreà is one of Italy's leading technical clothing manufacturers. It focuses on product quality and control over the whole supply chain, from choosing the raw materials to graphic designs. Its partners include Parma Calcio and the Italian national volleyball team.

A family-led company born from its founder's love of football, it has grown over the years thanks to its attention to product quality, in line with the best Italian manufacturing traditions. Erreà Sport, a group specialising in the production of technical sportswear, better known as teamwear, is a brand that has successfully made its mark in just a few short years, even on international markets, which today represent 60% of its turnover. It was founded in 1988 by Angelo Gandolfi. "I've always loved football and when I was no longer able to play at amateur level, I decided to keep my love for the sport alive by creating Erreà", says the company's President. Gandolfi was quick to realise that football clubs need technical sports garments capable of improving the performance of players. So he decided to invest in a production which could guarantee the highest standards in terms of quality, safety and comfort. "The kit represents a club's identity, it expresses its values - it's one of the most important elements of its image. Which is why our lines are designed and made based on the needs of each individual club." The strong point of this company from San Polo di Torrile, in the Parma Province, is its direct control over all the production activities carried out in Italy and Romania, where the company has its production plants. "Erreà makes its clothing internally, bringing together sports clothing and a tailoring culture. From the very beginning, our ability to create and make garments and select fabrics has been the secret of our success. Age-old skills brought up to date in an era of increasingly more modern yarns and machinery".

Family also plays a central role in Erreà's business model. "My wife and children are always by my side in this journey", says Gandolfi. Something confirmed by the company name and logo, Erreà, which originated by combining the letters “R” and “A”, the initials of Gandolfi's children. The group manages all stages of production: from the selection of raw materials to designing how the graphics will look, from prototypes to the delivery of the final products. "This complete supply chain is the company's strong point", confirms Roberto Gandolfi, Vice President of Erreà, not least the founder's son. "It sets us apart from the competition and it allows us to represent the only European manufacturing company still operating in the teamwear sector. The possibility to carry out meticulous and precise controls on the origin of our raw materials means we can guarantee maximum safety and quality for the market. Essential details for us, the heart of our strategy." Thanks to controls carried out on the entire supply chain, Erreà guarantees products that meet even the highest standards of sustainability, from both a social and environmental point of view. "Being sustainable means operating in full compliance with all international standards, aiming to create a product which will have a long life cycle", Robert goes on to explain. "To do this, we are constantly checking the modus operandi of our suppliers".

With regard to environmental aspects, since 2007 we have been Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified; this certification sets extremely strict limits on products in terms of harmful substances. We are the only technical-sports clothing company which can display this label". Erreà's business started out in football (its first sponsorship deal was sealed with Genoa in 1988) but it soon extended its range to volleyball, basketball, rugby and many other sports. Then it went on to enter the accessory sector. The group soon made its debut on the international scene, thanks to its partnership with English football club, Middlesbrough. An operation that acted as a driving force which took the brand first into Europe and then into the rest of the world.

"From a family company, Erreà started to become 'glocal', i.e. an enterprise which is both global and local, attentive to international development but also to its relationship with its territory of origin and its family values." The company collaborates with numerous teams, federations and national partners, including Parma, Queens Park Rangers, the Italian national volleyball team, the UEFA Kit Assistance Scheme 2022-2026, Reyer Venezia, and Benetton Treviso in the rugby sector. "Erreà is a company specialised in teamwear for both professionals and amateurs. Over the years, however, we have diversified our production and we have launched a series of new brands thanks to huge investments in research and development. In 2005 Erreà 3D Wear was born, a technical underwear line, while in 2010 Erreà Republic, a sports and leisurewear clothing line was launched. Finally, in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was raging, Point, the line of clothing dedicated to workplace safety was created. This is made with a new anti-viral fabric called Ti-Energy 3.0, made with zinc oxide nanoparticles, permanently encapsulated in the fibres."

Erreà is counting on continuing on its journey of growth over the coming years thanks to a series of new products (as yet top secret) and a plan for internationalisation. "We started out with a small textile machinery workshop", Angelo reminisces. "Now we employ over 950 people and we are a healthy and strong company, in terms of assets and margins. Erreà has always grown organically, and this is how we intend to proceed. In Italy, in Europe, but also in the rest of the world, we are investing in extending our business into strategic areas such as the United States, Latin America and the Middle East."

"We started out with a small textile machinery workshop. Now we employ over 950 people and have a healthy and strong business in terms of assets and margins".