New Prato:
Innovation insight

Niccolò Cipriani

Niccolò Cipriani, born in 1987, graduated in international economics from Bocconi, founded in 2017 in Prato Rifò, a company that produces regenerated cashmere and wool garments.

(Q) Niccolò how did the idea of opening this company come about?
(A) I am born in Prato. I didn't go to Buzzi, but I can't deny that “textiles” are part of us. I think it is true for many people from Prato. I did not have such deep and direct knowledge except some experience during the summer holidays in my uncle's dry cleaners.
Rifò, however, was born in a very ironic way when I was away from home.
After many experiences abroad between China and Vietnam, I realize and decide, perhaps a bit like a kamikaze, that I want to return to Prato and I want to open a company in this sector.
The sector was in crisis and I felt it on my skin because my father was on layoffs during my second year of university...

Despite this, you decided "like a kamikaze" to try the same...
Exactly. I thought I could be different, that I could somehow make my small contribution to innovation.

What were the assets on which you have focused as a company in order to be "different and innovative"?
Key word "sustainability". It is a concept that has always interested me during my studies and my professional experiences and therefore I tried to put together 3 pillars: 1 knowledge of this city, 2) internationalization, 3) sustainable development. These are the 3 fundamental aspects for me. From which I started and on which I want to continue to focus.

We can say that it is a challenge that you are winning. Rifò is currently growing rapidly and you have already achieved important goals.
Yes, during the last year we have exceeded our business plan objectives with a turnover of 350 thousand euros. Currently 4 people work permanently for the company and we have 7 external collaborators.
Can you tell us the story of the name "Rifò"?
Rifò is a Tuscan inflection of the verb "to redo". We chose this name "KM 0" because it represented the Tuscan spirit and the way of speaking of the artisans who invented, more than a hundred years ago, the method of regenerating old garments to produce a new yarn: the so-called "Cenciaioli". Furthermore, Rifò because we "remake" a traditional craft that in recent years was disappearing.