Where to find sustainable suppliers? #18


When you create your own clothing brand, do you have to source in France or abroad? In Asia or around the Mediterranean? The only imperative is to respect the customers’ expectations for an ethical or eco-designed production.

When in 2008 Julien Durant, Vincent André, and Jérémy Rochette, the creators of Picture Organic Clothing, set sail for Turkey, they thought they would easily find the factory that would manufacture the organic cotton clothes of their board sports brand. The country is the world’s largest producer. In the pocket, a list of ten factories certified GOTS, a label that guarantees the origin of the cotton and its transformation without harmful products. Problem: “Only one establishment in Izmir received them,” says Florian Palluel, in charge of sustainable development for the brand.

A common misadventure among young creators, unable to guarantee large production volumes. Another discovery, it will take a year and many round trips at an unassessed cost to go from the prototype to the first collection. But the trio’s determination to create their own brand of eco-responsible clothing has paid off.

It currently has a turnover of 30 million euros. Twelve years later, the Clermont-Ferrand SME is the first customer of the Izmir plant and has 19 other suppliers worldwide. “Without manufacturing abroad, it is impossible for us to offer eco-designed clothing at the price of conventional textiles”. Manufactured 7 euros in Izmir, the POC T-shirt is sold 12.50 euros to shops that sell it between 30 and 33 euros, including 20% VAT.

Ensuring responsible production is no longer a subject for young fashion designers but one more criterion for selecting the right manufacturer, in addition to the traditional requirements of quality, responsiveness, and margin. As a result, the Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Portugal), which are often privileged for their geographical proximity, see their positions strengthened in their sourcing choices.

Read about it here in Capital.