150 years of Outdoor
As in the most classic of the Italian stories, it all starts thanks to an invention. One hundred and fifty years ago Cesare Ferrino, in his paint shop at number 107 in Via Nizza in Turin, developed a formula able to waterproof canvases and fabrics. An idea that would revolutionize the outdoor world, but let’s start from the beginning.
The first ones to use the waterproof fabrics designed by Ferrino were actually Fiat and the Italian Army. However, we didn’t have to wait long before today famous names such as that of the Duke of the Abruzzi, or the photographer from Biella Vittorio Sella and the Himalayan expert Mario Piacenza, interwined with ours. Those were years of great exploration and all these adventurers needed a new type of tent, a shelter that had to be waterproof, resistant and easily transportable, suitable for providing a safe refuge in the most remote and inhospitable places of the planet. They were the first to take Ferrino tents to the extreme, to test them in prohibitive conditions, indelibly marking what would have been the following entrepreneurial direction of the company. In a short time we completely transformed the company by expanding the sector of competence to the manufacture of waterproof tents for the outdoor. A new and profitable market, for which various models were born such as the Alpina tent, resistant to strong winds, or the Sangone, small and cheap. Resistant, lightweight and easily transportable tents, therefore suitable for adventures in self-sufficiency, in places where it would have been necessary to move frequently carrying all the gears on the shoulders.
Air of revolution
In the seventies and eighties our story intertwined with the one of a young Reinhold Messner who had just one goal, to conquer all 14 Eight-thousanders in the world. To accomplish that he needed some products designed specifically for his needs, including strong, light and resistant tents to the extreme weather conditions encountered where the air becomes rarefied. What he had in mind was a particular type of structure, a dome-shaped geodesic tent, to withstand the strong winds of the Himalayas. We designed and manufactured some special very innovative products suited to his needs and together, in October 1986, we reached the top of the world.
We were still with Reinhold Messner when he completed his ride on the 14 Eight-thousanders of the world, exactly as we were with Silvio Mondinelli in 2004, when the mountaineer from Brescia became the second Italian to climb all 8000m peaks without additional oxygen. A challenge that wrote the history of mountaineering, and that gave us the opportunity to understand and make the most of the potential of this sector. After that began a fruitful dialogue with climbers and explorers to whom we offered our experience and expertise gained over the years. An equal exchange from which to draw inspiration for new projects, working side by side with mountaineers and adventures happy to contribute to the development of the products with which they will face their challenges. A strong bond is also what unites our company with the great winter expeditions. For years we have been working alongside the Polish expeditions and supporting them in the work of the difficult conquest at winter K2, and recently we welcomed the Basque mountaineer Alex Txikon in our ambassador team, whom we will accompany on his winter expeditions in Antarctica and on the Everest.
Ferrino is a family. This can be seen by observing the production chain, the commitment made in the process of developing new products: from the idea to the field tests up to marketing, each phase is carefully followed. The same care that is put into the repairs we realize every day for customers loyal to their backpacks, tents, sleeping bags with which they carry out their small personal adventures. We are proud to be by their side and to the side of all the people who every day take care of others, offering for 50 years support to humanitarian and aid missions 150 years of Outdoor to populations affected by wars or natural disasters through a line of products designed for the first rescue.
As producers, but above all as enthusiasts, we quickly learned that ideation and innovation would be a sterile science without an accurate field test phase. For this reason, in 1994 we had a revolutionary idea: to create a permanent high altitude tented camp where to test various prototypes of tents, backpacks and other gears. We are talking about Highlab and its line of gears designed to withstand extreme conditions. The performances of these products are the highest in our collection, suitable to meet the different needs in the outdoor area, always guaranteeing a very high quality level.
2 families of entrepreneurs
The heart of our company is located in Turin. Former capital of Italy very close to the Alps, it is exactly here that the industrial history of our country was born at the end of the nineteenth century. A privileged place for a company like ours that in this way is able to move from production to field testing in a few minutes.
In 1971 the company faced a new phase of development with the construction of a new factory and therefore opened the capital to the Rabajoli family who then became a joint partner. Ferrino became the current joint stock company. The two families today continue to write the history of the brand, thanks to the collaboration of a team of 60 passionate people who design, develop, market and distribute all of our products.
From tradition comes innovation
The research and development team, made up of young designers from the most prestigious industrial design universities of Turin and expert developers, works on the conception of essential and functional products. Reducing waste, while offering intelligent solutions at a competitive price are the principles behind the corporate philosophy, today as 150 years ago.
Everything starts from an idea and what could potentially be its use. Then comes a drawing on paper to conceptualize the product followed by a computerized modeling phase and the creation of a prototype, up to a first model tested both in the laboratory and in the field to obtain useful results to improve efficiency.
More than outdoor
Since the 1950s, we have been supporting humanitarian and aid missions to populations affected by wars or natural disasters through a line of specific first aid products supplied to the major humanitarian organizations. In addition, we still continue the collaboration with the Italian Army that began 150 years ago to which we provide reliable and innovative gear capable of guaranteeing safety and protection for men and women engaged in peacekeeping missions.
We love the environment and believe in the importance of a sustainable business capable of creating value while respecting and safeguarding people and nature. The choice to draw up a Sustainability Report is coherently and urgently in relation to the major international issues faced by the United Nations within the Millennium Development Goals (SDG), points of reference for those who, like us, intend to tackle firmly the environmental and socio-economic challenges of our planet. The chosen approach, taking into account the multidimensional nature of our activities, is the GRI one consistent with the IIRC approach, which identifies six fundamental capitals on which the company operates, which in our case are: Financial, Productive, Social, Intellectual, Human and Environmental.
2018 sees a further consolidation of company revenues with a turnover of 18 million Euros and an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. The main market remains Italy with about a thousand stores. The export share is 52% thanks to the presence in 40 markets, mainly in the European area.