A showcase of French textile know-how that is a logistical challenge, with the installation of some forty fragile, expensive, sometimes difficult to install, and often very heavy machines. FashionNetwork.com was able to preview the final result, the fruit of months of planning.
Visitors to the Factory of the Future are greeted by an honor guard of tricolored neon lights, surrounding a vast map of France where the many suppliers and partners of Le Slip Français are displayed. After this introduction, the operation is immediately striking in its scope, and the number of companies and players mobilized on-site*.
If they come with the epinal image of the sewing machine in mind, the 100,000 visitors expected at this edition of the show will experience a brutal update of their textile imagination. Because if there are sewing machines in this factory, their uses are varied and explained to the visitors, who move between machines of all sizes, from embroidery machines to presses and “flex” cutting machines.
In a layout designed to be didactic, a rotary warping machine, a Cabaud inkjet machine, and a computer-assisted sample weaving machine are all on display. Further on, there is a robotic Lonati GK flatbed sewing machine, imposing Jacquard looms, and an overlocking machine for working with stretch materials.
More iconoclastic, even for textile professionals, this factory features an “algae incubator”, producing a material from which cups and plastics are made for the event. The incubator sits alongside more familiar devices such as an embroidery machine, an engraving machine, and a professional iron, while a massive automated optical sorting machine for laundry is presented. The noise of these machines will compete with the hubbub of the trade fairs, and they will be operated and explained by 80 professionals present on-site for the occasion, dressed in specially produced overalls.
In addition to the visit to the factory, seven round tables will be held to discuss the challenges facing the French fashion industry. In addition to the representatives of Slip Français, the heads of Tenthorey, Bugis, Devaux, Henitex, Kiplay, Rexel, and Lemahieu, representatives of France Industrie, Première Vision, Cofreet, the Fédération Maille et Balnéaire and Le Défi were announced. Not forgetting the wool (Collectif Tricolor), hemp (InterChanvre), and linen (CELC and Linportant) sectors.
If the operation aims to promote the French textile industry to visitors, it also aims to raise awareness among public authorities about the future of the sector. The gamble seems to have paid off: a visit to the Factory of the Future is indicated for 10 November in the official calendar of Ministers Bruno Le Maire (Economy), Roland Lescure (Industry), Olivia Grégoire (Social, Solidarity and Responsible Economy) and Marlène Schiappa (Citizenship). Also announced are regional presidents Valérie Pécresse (Île-de-France), Christelle Morançais (Pays de la Loire), and Hervé Morin (Normandy).
“We are living in a key moment for the French textile industry: faced with the rise in all production costs and the ecological emergency, short circuit manufacturing is the obvious solution,” explained Guillaume Gibault, president of Slip Français, in the spring. “We now have the opportunity to make our industry the champion of a genuine industrial renewal that is as local as it is sustainable and has ten years of expertise behind it. Le Slip Français intends to be faithful to its mission of reinventing the French textile industry with panache and to position itself as the leader of this fundamental movement.
The show takes place on the tenth anniversary of MIF Expo. This trade show dedicated to French productions brings together this year more than 850 brands, including some 230 operating in fashion and accessories, some 40 focused on sports, and some 160 exhibitors focused on hygiene and beauty.
*Exhibiting partners: Lemahieu, Neyret, Eranova, Maya Campus, Lelabplus, La Fabrique Nomade, IFTH, La Fabrique, L’Ecole Des Métiers de la Mode et De La Décoration, Bpifrance, Groupe Chantelle, Les Ateliers Peyrache, Modart International, Renaissance Textile, Synergies Tlc, Tdv Industries, Bertheas et Cie, Logtex, Les Tissages De Charlieu, Wiltee, Deveaux Sas, Tenthorey, Apf Entreprises, La Manufacture de Pantoufles, Lectra, Footbridge Impact, CELC Flax & Hemp, Broussaud Textiles, Kalhyge, Première Vision and the Pays De La Loire Region.