Munper - not just a holiday destination16 June 2003
Munper are located in the leather town of Inca on the Balearic island of Mallorca. Thirty minutes by air from Barcelona, the island is more famously known as a holiday destination for thousands of tourists and the retreat of celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas. Inca is a forty minute drive from the island's capital, Palma, which is also where the international airport is situated and visitors entering the town are greeted with a sign in Spanish, German and English welcoming them to Mallorca's 'leather town'. Munper produce around 20,000 pieces per annum with approximately 60% for men and the remainder for women. Most garments are made using high quality Spanish sheepskins but they also use small amounts of goat, rabbit and cow leather. 'I would say that 90% of the leather we source is from Spanish tanners', Ramon Sebastia Ferrer, director, told Leather International. 'We prefer to buy Spanish garment leather as we believe that it is the best in the world in terms of manufacturing and raw material quality', he added. Munper also source from tanneries in Italy where they say they can get a wider selection of new and more innovative styles. Munper source as much grade one material as possible from Spanish producers such as Genis Antel, Inpelsa and Colomer Munmany. 'In terms of demand, at the moment we are supplying many items made from sheepskin nappa but demand for doubleface and suede leathers is low', says Sebastia. As well as the factory, Munper also have two factory outlet stores in Inca which offer all types of leather products and not just those made in the factory. Two local entrepreneurs, Muntaner and Pericas own the business and, today, the company have 35 employees including a designer and three design assistants. The current owners established the company in 1975 and moved to the current factory in 1991. Each season (two per year) Munper produce a new collection which is shown at various shows around the world including the catwalk show at Pielespana which is held in Barcelona each January. 'We find that the women's collections have to be more fashionable than the men's. Our designer is constantly looking for new styles and effects on the leather to offer our customers something new.' Half of all sales are exported to markets outside Spain. They include Japan, China (Hong Kong) and South Korea. All the garments are manufactured by hand and each garment typically requires 6-8 hours of work.