“My father founded this company in 1989,” says Yasmine Massini, daughter of founder and CEO Mr. Imad-Eddine Massini. Ms. Massini and her sister Chérine Massini have been on board for the last few years, making it a proud, family owned business.
Back then, Sematex comprised just twelve employees, all personally trained by Mr. Massini himself. 30 years on, the company has expanded considerably but the core business and philosophy have remained the same.
Mr. Massini has worked in the industry since his teens and naturally has a discerning eye for quality due to decades of experience in the business. “He oversees every aspect of the operation and still personally selects and trains all of our new recruits. Sorting is not as easy as one thinks and it’s where we gain a competitive advantage,” states Ms. Massini.
She adds, “My father has a sharp eye for detail and passes that knowledge on to our employees.” The company is inundated daily by job applications from would-be candidates. Clothing, shoes and other textiles are bought from key suppliers in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and the UK. Sematex employees then sort the garments according to quality, material and season.
Each garment is thoroughly inspected in a final control phase before being packaged into bales and shipped to partners around the world. “We sell per kilogram and the reseller sells per piece,” explains Ms. Massini.
We aim for 100% recycling to try and reduce the amount of clothing ending up in landfi ll. Yasmine Massini
Sematex currently exports 5,000 tonnes of recycled textiles worldwide every year, with its main customers in Russia, Asia, Africa and the US. “The fashion industry differs from country to country so it’s important to select the right garments for each market.”
“This year we will focus more on marketing,” says Ms. Massini. “There was no need in the past but now we have expanded and have the ability to sell much more.” The website will be revamped this year and Sematex will extend its social media presence and open an online shop as well as advertise in industry publications. The two sisters are also planning to open their own second-hand vintage shop.
“The second-hand market is growing; sustainability and ecology are becoming more and more important. We come from the fashion industry, we know the current trends and what people are looking for.” This year, Sematex aims at optimizing its processes by digitizing its stockpile and introducing further automation to deal with its growing supply and customer demand for second-hand textiles.