Jules reinforces its “eco-responsibility” by becoming a company with a mission

By Bouaziz Dalila | THE

| eco conception

Transforming the fashion industry by working to relocate its production as close as possible to its customers, such is the new mission that Jules has given himself. Objective ? Participate at its level in the decarbonization of the sector.

Jules is reinventing itself to become a responsible and committed brand. – © DR

Started four years ago, Jules is pursuing its “in progress” environmental strategy. The men’s fashion brand is reinventing itself to become a responsible and committed brand. Our ambition is to move from a volume strategy, from “always producing more and less expensively” to the production of high value products, sustainable over time, to meet the needs as precisely as possible, explain Franck Poillon, general manager of Jules. We have a real educational role to play, both internally and with our customers, to demonstrate all the virtues and benefits of this new paradigm, and to convince that the direction we have chosen is the only one that is viable over the long term. term, to create lasting value. »

We must continue to be profitable over the long term, but not at any price

A positioning that no longer seems so implausible in the fashion sector, known to be one of the most polluting industries in the world. Last February, the sign of the Mulliez galaxy became a “company with a mission”. We are the first ready-to-wear company of this dimension, emphasizes the leader. Nevertheless, Jules is and will remain a for-profit business. We must continue to be profitable over the long term, but not at any price: by ensuring a dynamic of societal, social and environmental progress. These two concepts are no longer opposed. » A new status after two years of processwhich validates its objectives in sustainable fashion and reducing its carbon footprint, supported by the family shareholder.

Decarbonize the textile industry

His leitmotif, initiated in 2019 with his signature “Men in progress”translates to “producing only what Jules is able to sell”. Buy less but better, with collections made from sustainable, organic and recycled materials in order to limit the environmental impact of products, including carbon emissions and water consumption. The sign to 550 stores (including 470 in France) says it has saved nearly 2.7 million parts in three years. It only has 2% of residual stocks from its winter season (6% previously).

The reduction of its carbon footprint begins with the design of the clothes. This year, 50% of the collections will have its internal “in progress” label, i.e. made with lower impact materials (organic cotton, linen, recycled polyester, etc.), with the aim ofreach 100% in 2030. We have introduced all our teams to eco-design, putting this approach into practice by product category, noted Erika Joffrin-Cadix, new CSR director since November. To eco-design, we try to minimize the environmental impact of all stages of the product life cycle : creation, choice of materials, possibilities of reuse, manufacture, transport… And all this without losing sight of the expectations of our customers in terms of use and quality. »

The five pillars of the project are grouped together under the acronym Trust: “Transforming industry on our scale, Reconciling all people with clothing, Uniting with local players, Saving resources through eco-design and Transmitting knowledge with raising awareness among all employees. In 2024, and in pursuit of this journey, Jules will embark on pre-ordering, starting with the costume.

Strengthen near-import

Jules also started the relocation of its production to European and Mediterranean countriesthereby reducing its share in Asia, to get closer to its consumption areas. The objective in close import is to be at 17% in 2023 and an ambition of 33% in 2026. In this context, the men’s fashion brand is developing a “local know-how capsule” in which 100% of the materials will be European, particularly Italian and Portuguese.

Supporting reindustrialization in France

In the spring of 2022, the brand inaugurated a “Fashion Denim Center” denim factory in Hauts-de-France (Neuville-en-Ferrain), to originally make 100,000 pieces of jeans (70,000 to 80 000 pieces were manufactured last year). This project called “Fashioncube” was created in collaboration with the other brands of the Mulliez group (Bizzbee, Grain de Malice, Orsay, Rouge Gorge and Pimkie) but was dissolved with the sale of Pimkie. The plant nevertheless continues to produce. The first edition of the “59” jeans sold at €59.59 sold more than 6,000 copies since its commercialization at the end of 2022. A version 2 will be released in September at a “slightly higher price”.

“We are currently working on a twenty projects made in France in 2023 and hope that 100% of these products will be in our stores in the coming months”, explains Matheïs Grimonpont, purchasing manager. Thus, a collection called “Le Parfait”, in co-creation with its community of “Relove” customers, i.e. an urban wardrobe comprising some forty references (chinos, sweaters, shirts, T-shirts, etc.) will be in stores for the winter 2023. A slightly more expensive range due to enhanced quality, via more extensive tests to extend the life of the garments, and a 4-year warranty for garments (exchange possible if the product is defective during this period). Globally, Jules hopes to sell 100,000 pieces by 2025. A figure that is still minimal since it will only represent 1% of its production.

Started in 2021 in a store in Lille, the experimentation of the second-hand “Rewear” corner, a Vintage collection of streetwear, denim… at fairly high prices, was not conclusive. The test has been stopped. “We have tried and learned, says CSR Director Erika Joffrin-Cadix. Now we are thinking about a new project in the second hand. »

Business performance affected by a cyberattack

In terms of turnover, the year 2022 has not been quite there. Franck Poillon talks about sales estimated at 470 million euros against “500 million for a normal year”, affected by the cyberattack that affected its e-commerce site in September and lasted several months. The company remains very discreet about its consequences.

The share of e-commerce has increased slightly to around 7-8% of its turnover. The leader has not changed his position by considering that “It’s still not an end in itself for Jules to have a growing web share, explains Franck Poillon. We are rather in an omnibusiness logic by equipping ourselves with omnichannel tools on the whole network. »

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