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Who is behind Royal Mer?

Royal Mer once again opens its backstage to you. For this third portrait of our teams, we met Hervé Coulombel, President of Royal Mer since 2016. In this interview, he...

Royal Mer once again opens its backstage to you.

For this third portrait of our teams, we met Hervé Coulombel, President of Royal Mer since 2016. In this interview, he explains his vision of Made in France.

Hervé Coulombel, why choose Made in France for Royal Mer?

For us, Made in France is not a choice, it is obvious. We took over a company which had already had French production facilities in Loire Atlantique since 1946, made up of seamstresses, hosiers, cutters, embroiderers, stitchers, buttonmakers, programmers, as well as a fleet of thirty machines.

© Place cliche

What is your vision of fashion today?

Fashion for me is a return to what existed around thirty years ago, that is to say quality clothes which last over time, with a timeless style, but which nevertheless follow the trends of so that they can be worn all year round. The idea is to also be able to renew your wardrobe without falling into “fast fashion”, which is totally contrary to our values ​​and harmful to the environment.

What are the current challenges of Made in France for you?

The challenges of Made in France today are to be able to rebuild sectors that have been completely destroyed, which makes it a real difficulty. We must be able to rebuild from a few hard cores which were able to resist the various crises, and the massive relocation phenomena towards Asia in the early 2000s. Today we must rebuild these production circuits, find and retrain people who have been able to move towards other professions, and need to give meaning to their work. This is a real challenge both for us and for the employment situation in France.

What does the Origine France Garantie label that you claim mean?

The Origine France Garantie (OFG) label ensures that at least 75% of the product, namely the materials that go into its composition, as well as the various operations that are necessary for its production, come from French territory. The problem with labels at the moment is that you can find everything and anything there, and the consumer gets lost. With Origine France Garantie we are sure that the product purchased by our customers is truly made in France.

Is Royal Mer currently recruiting?

We are recruiting and it is also a real subject. Following the covid crisis, over the past two years we have seen a real revival of interest in Made in France and we are facing a sharp increase in demand. To produce clothes made in France you need people who live close to our production site and that is a real challenge. Currently we are mainly looking for clothing operators and hosiers for the knitting machines.

Do you plan to work with recycled wool and/or French wool?

Indeed, we already recycle our wool scraps thanks to a partnership established last year with Filature du Parc. We send our scraps to this company in the South West which reconditions them and sends us yarn which allows us to knit new pieces. A new model of sailor sweater made from recycled wool is also being studied.

Will other shoe models emerge?

Last year we launched our first model of sneakers knitted and made in France. Part of a sustainable production perspective, the Knit-1 is also made up of a Primaloft ® Bio recycled polyester upper and a Vibram ® sole in also recycled rubber. We are currently working on a new version of wool sneakers, to keep feet warm from next year.

What is your favorite Royal Mer sweater?

The Adrian model. With its very tight knitting, its 100% virgin wool composition, its wide range of colors, and its French Origin Guaranteed certification, it is the ideal sailor sweater and in a way the flagship of our house!


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