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PHILOSOPHY / Environment

The search for balance

A palette of colours that is transformed with the changing seasons. The lake flora, with its Mediterranean colours and fragrances, is reflected in the mirrored surface of the water, shifting under falling rain and moved by the winds blown down from the Alps or the light breezes from the valleys, which make the waters of the River Erno quiver. This is the nature of Lesa, on Lake Maggiore, Herno's chosen site for producing garments. The perfect geography for testing the functionality of the products. All the more reason to respect the environment.

Herno emerged in Lesa, along the valley of the river from which it takes its name. There it started production in an old factory in the depths of a forest, in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Including the setting in his own environmental context was part of Marenzi's ethical view. This way, the entire infrastructure of the headquarters in Lesa respects everything that surrounds it. The 19th-century factory, completely refurbished and modernised with solar panels, fulfils its own energy requirements, which have gradually been reduced thanks to the purchase of low-consumption machinery. And it is a structure in harmony with nature, even the new industrial building that sits alongside the historic office. A single building over three floors, designed to blend in and fit the life on the hill: natural materials, a vertical garden that actually incorporates the building to limit the visual impact as much as possible, and insulation designed to reduce energy loss. Looking after the environment, however, also means organising work spaces in sync with human rhythms, without overlooking safety at work. Herno arranges for continuous improvement in accordance with legal processes, and encourages actions to increase every employee’s awareness that carrying out a job while protected from risks contributes to improving the work place.

In the lakeside climate, where wind and frequent showers punctuate the days for a large part of the year, the company has always had an optimum way to stress-test its own garments. But the love and respect don't stop there. There is the noble history of Lesa, for example. The village overlooks Lake Maggiore from the Piedmont banks, observing it through its gates, its narrow streets, the stone houses, the splendid villas kissed by the elegance of architecture conceived in the 1800s and 1900s in a precarious balance of classicism and innovation. All around, the hills are scented with holly and chestnuts while downstream, camellia, azalea and magnolia fragrance and adorn the lakeside and the splendid gardens. It is a village that encourages relaxation and stimulates both meditation and diligence. Alessandro Manzoni understood this as well and went to stay there with his wife, taking advantage of the opportunity to meet the philosopher Antonio Rosmini in Stresa. The noble landscapes reflect the many families residing here since the Middle Ages, who left nobility in passing like a hereditary trait. Herno has been linked to all these places by an undeniable symbiosis, from the very beginning. It is no coincidence that Giuseppe Marenzi, the founder, was the mayor of Lesa for years, ardently committed to preserving the uniqueness of this simple, balanced and authentically elegant setting, like the products of the Herno firm: designed with the heart, and made with the head and hands.