From the innovative business idea of two former school friends to a global concern: The trajectory of French women's clothing company ba&sh SAS has been phenomenal. European Business spoke with CEO Pierre-Arnaud Grenade to find out more.
Textile Industry & Fashion
Why buy new clothes every season when the world is already overwhelmed with quality garments? In an era in which sustainability is a priority, recycling companies have never been more important. Belgian company, Sematex BVBA, sorts, packs and exports quality second-hand clothing and shoes around the world, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Without colour, the world would be a very drab place. Members of the Italian company Tintoria Emiliana s.r.l., a specialist in the art of dyeing high-value clothing, certainly thinks so. Founded in the post-war era when dyeing clothes to extend their lifespan was a necessity, today the firm works on confectioned garments for the highly demanding fashion labels.
It seems like a dream come true: When the founders of Gabriella were about to realise their vision of their own hosiery enterprise, it was both coincidence and luck that were they able to buy used machinery from a closed hosiery production site in Łódź. The young entrepreneurs wanted to bring modern and classic tights to the Polish markets. Looking back 23 years now, it seems that their idea has turned into a true business success. Gabriella is market leader in Poland and the company exports its legwear to more than 50 countries worldwide.
To many it is the epitome of luxury – cashmere. The elegant fabric is soft and tender, extremely warm and light, rare and simply second to none. Due to its geographical location and extreme weather conditions, cashmere from Mongolia is considered to be the finest in the world. Malo SpA produces precious cashmere knitwear from this exclusive fabric. Its products reflect a rigorous attention to quality and tradition and the passion for beautiful products.
Timing is everything. Nowhere is this statement more true than in the fashion world. While seasonal collections still play an important role, for many companies they are no longer the main driver that they once were. One designer which has completely embraced the new fashion mentality is the Italian M Symbol Group S.R.L. With a number of brands in its portfolio, Matchless is the most important, combining a long and illustrious heritage with the fast-moving demands of today’s fashion-conscious consumers.
A wristwatch with just one hand on which you can only tell the time to the nearest minute? That is not a functional limitation, asserts Corvin Lask, Co-Founder and CEO of Blackboard GmbH, but an invitation to forget about time for a few minutes in our stressful lives. Behind this is an entire philosophy of “Slow living”. In an interview with European Business Mr. Lask explains how “slow” should not be confused with inefficient and talks about how his watch appeals to us to savour the quiet moments in a hectic business day.
As one of the best-known names in knitted underwear, Schiesser upholds a reputation for quality that goes back more than 140 years. Since 1995, part of the responsibility for ensuring that Schiesser-branded knitted products continue to set quality benchmarks has been entrusted to Pleas a.s. in the Czech Republic. The producer of knitted textiles boasts an almost equally long history and was taken over by Schiesser in 1995. Today, 90% of its production is sold in international markets under the Schiesser brand, while the remaining 10% is sold under the original Pleas brand in its home market.
Everyone knows the big names in the fashion industry; from haute couture to the high street, we are constantly surrounded by familiar brands. In contrast, some names are less well known or even completely obscure, but have an equally huge presence in our lives. The HVEG Fashion Group, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a company which most of us have never heard of, yet its clothing and accessories are all around us, sold under the brand names of a multitude of retailers around Europe. The group itself proclaims: “You don’t see us, but we are everywhere.”
Danish-French firm Design Eyewear Group has six brands and hundreds of designs under one roof. Sleek spectacles are designed alongside hip modern sunglasses. Such variety has made it a perfect partner for independent opticians as they compete with established chains and mainstream brands in North America and Europe. We spoke to CEO Lars Flyvholm about the company’s ambitious multi-brand business model, which combines design synergy and commercial impact.
Fabric is perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind when we think of innovation, but the reality is that it is used in a multitude of applications, all of which require the fabric to be dyed and finished in a particular way. This processing is today a complex, high-tech activity. Italy, with its world-famous fashion and automotive industries, has a huge demand for fabric finishing. With a history dating back some 45 years, one of the leading companies in this sector is Tintoria Finissaggio 2000 Srl.