Made in France: Lemahieu launches a thread made from its cotton scraps

With “Puure”, the industrialist Lemahieu intends to reduce the waste of fibers by offering a range of yarns made from offcuts from his workshops. A solution developed with the Spanish company Ferre, which will be presented at the Made in France trade fair (September 8 and 9 in Paris), and which is in line with the sustainable desire of the company, which delivers its first carbon footprint and intends to obtain Gots certification for its products.

the Puure yarn is produced by the Spanish company Ferre – Lemahieu

This first version, “Puure 01”, is made from 33% recycled cotton, to which is added 33% organic cotton, and 33% tencel (cellulose fiber obtained from wood pulp). “This thread will be exclusive to Lemahieu, and we intend to offer it to our customers who are looking for more circularity”, indicates to FashionNetwork.com Alexandre Julienne, responsible for the white label offer of Lemahieu, who since 2019 can be claim the EPV label (living heritage company).

The company posted a turnover of 8.1 million euros for its financial year ended at the end of June, against 5.7 million when it was taken over in September 2018 by Martin Breuvart and Loïc Baert. With 65 years of existence, the northern bonnetier of Saint-André-lez-Lille currently operates 65% in white label, for clients such as Le Slip Français, 1083, Le Bourget, Arthur, Archiduchesse, Dagobert, or again the official Elysée store. The difficulties encountered by the Hekla own brand, intended for mass distribution, coincided with the rise of on-demand production.

Today, the company’s activity revolves 35% around underwear / box, 30% around T-shirts and tops, and 35% around ten brands of period panties. “It’s a market that did not yet exist three years ago,” recalls Martin Breuvart, president of Lemahieu. “There is a real break here, with a product that embodies the challenges of employment, the environment, inclusiveness…”

To produce, the structure has in four years seen its workforce increase from 90 to 135 employees. New hires to which must be added the many retirements that have taken place, posing the challenge of finding people trained in tailoring. “We were forced to train internally,” says Martin Breuvart, who explains that sessions of 800 hours were offered by promotions of twelve. About fifty people were trained in 2020.

A year of crisis from which Lemahieu would not have suffered, according to its president, who recalls the mobilization around the “Masks of the North” and “Breath of the North” to equip the Lille University Hospital with protective masks. The logical continuation of a responsible approach registered since 2018 in the DNA of the company, which has just carried out its first carbon assessment, posting 5kg of emissions per item against 10 to 16kg for the Asian competition. By 2030, Lemahieu intends to become carbon neutral.

Lemahieu

The sustainable ambitions do not stop there: already using cotton yarns certified Oeko-tex (standard 100) and Gots (global organic textile standard), the company is now undertaking to have its products themselves certified Gots. same. Project helped by certifications already obtained such as Origine France Garantie and France Terre Textile.

“Our goal is to be able to produce for brands that are committed and pioneering in the environment”, summarizes Martin Breuvart, who specifies that the company is firmly awaiting the possibility of using French flax now spun in France rather than Poland. Or to be able to integrate the stages of dyeing and printing thanks to the Agile Workshop, which is currently being prepared in Roubaix.

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