The manufacturer of canvas jeans from Nîmes Atelier Tuffery is accentuating its industrial roots in Florac, in Lozère. The family manufacturing brand, created 130 years ago, is injecting 2.5 million euros into tripling the surface area of its factory. This will go from 600 m2 at 2,000m2 by mid-2023. The project consists of expanding the production workshop, the logistics center, the shop and the administrative center. The annual production capacity will increase from 40,000 to more than 100,000 pieces per year.
The future site will include a workshop-school, to support a doubling of the workforce – from 26 to approximately 50 employees. To attract skills to the heart of the Cévennes National Park, the SME guarantees a minimum salary of 1,400 euros net, excluding bonuses, and a neat working environment. “I don’t want a production line from the 1970s. A sewing machine should be considered a computer. Why should textile workers not be entitled to superb open spaces? “, noted Julien Tuffery36, joint manager with his wife Myriamembodying the 4th generation of master tailors.
Atelier Tuffery targets an urban clientele to sell its products made in small series or individually, and whose prices vary between 119 and 500 euros. The brand is not confined to jeans, and also offers dresses, aprons, shirts, shorts, jackets… The direct sales model, “profitable” – gross operating surplus of approximately 20 %-, is preferred. 75% of sales are made through e-commerce, the rest being done on site, at the Florac workshop, mainly in summer with tourists. Fitting operations will be launched in France and abroad, such as this April 28 at Nouvelles Grisettes, a concept location dedicated to fashion in Montpellier.
Versatility of employees
Each employee is versatile, trained in-house in the 80 gestures necessary for textile production: preparation of back pockets, assembly of backs and fronts, etc. “It takes a year and a half of training. We do not fit into any CFA system, hence the support provided internally,” explains this engineer, trained at Polytech Montpellier.
Atelier Tuffery uses European cotton, imported from Greece or woven in the Vosges by Mouline Thillot. Atelier Tuffery is also supplied by local producers of hemp (Lot), wool (Lozère) and linen, via a partnership with Safilin (Pas-de-Calais). Labeled Living Heritage Company since 2017, the company has gone from 100,000 euros in turnover six years ago, at the time of the takeover by Julien Tuffery, to 3.6 million last year – of which 15% to export.