The hum of Brother sewing machines is irregular. The washing machine is not running yet. The washing one is not connected. But already about twenty seamstresses are at their post in the FashionCube jeans factory inaugurated on Tuesday April 5, in Neuville-en-Ferrain (North). The structure, which oversees the clothing brands Jules, Pimkie, Bizzbee, Grain de malice and RougeGorge Lingerie, has invested three million euros in this FashionCube Denim Center, with the support of local authorities.
Its president, Erwan Punelle, recalls how “it took a bit of madness, courage and determination” to bring this factory out of the ground, in one of the cradles of textiles in France that years of relocation have damaged. And above all, to make these pants, in a canvas of recycled cotton and polyester, woven in Turkey, to reach a selling price of 40 to 60 euros in stores.
The first jeans made in Neuville-en-Ferrain will be delivered at the end of April to the Jules brand, which, with Celio, is vying for the number one position among men’s fashion sellers in France. Baptized the “Cinq Neuf”, it will be sold at a price of 59.59 euros.
Will he meet his audience? The French jeans market is dominated by two players: the American Levi’s, the leading five-pocket brand, and Kiabi, the leading jeans sales channel, which, with a floor price of around 10 euros, has won nearly 9% of volumes in France. Thanks to production mainly in Asia, the “average price of jeans for men is 32.20 euros”adds Hélène Janicaud, head of studies at Kantar on the clothing market.
Despite the importance of low prices, the management of Jules believe that the French customer is now ready to spend more to reduce its environmental footprint thanks to “French manufacturing and better quality”. Pimkie should follow at the end of the year.
The brands 1083 and Atelier Tuffery have paved the way for these jeans made in France, with models selling for more than 100 euros. According to Kantar, 16% of buyers have chosen a so-called “ethical” model, that is to say made in organic cotton in 2019. “In the space of two years, the number of consumers for these models has tripled”believes M.me Janicaud.
Therefore, Jules’ bet would be less risky than it seems. Especially since the brand with 450 stores already sells models at 49 euros. Customers “will be ready to pay 10 euros more for jeans made in France”estimates Erika Joffrin-Cadix, director of the offer within the sign. “It will take time. It’s a whole pedagogical challenge to make people understand the interest of buying made in France”, admits Jean-Christophe Garbino, managing director of FashionCube.
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