The pièce de resistance of professional clothing
As one of the newest Trusted Members, the PCIAW® Editor interviewed Neil Boston, International Commercial Director for the CEPOVETT Group, on the company’s expansion into international markets.
The CEPOVETT Group approach their 75th anniversary as the largest professional clothing company in France, with an impressive turnover approximated at €150 million.
Founded in 1948 by the grandfather of the current CEO, Nicolas Sandjian, the CEPOVETT Group grew organically up until the beginning of the 21st century before a series of acquisitions of well-establish French SMEs accelerated growth and diversified their product portfolio.
Unique in France, with few and far between around the world – CEPOVETT is bold with its capacity to operate in every category of professional clothing.
The four brands within the CEPOVETT Group create garments and equipment with intrinsic quality and comfort. Operating at the mid-high end of the market, the products are said to be of the highest quality, but not the highest price.
CEPOVETT Group are paving the way for international expansion
After 74 years of year-on-year growth, the CEPOVETT Group’s evolution set the trajectory to become the market leader in France.
Working indirectly through dealerships, the group’s portfolio of premium uniforms, workwear and PPE products captured a disproportionate market share in France. The broad offering allowed dealerships to leverage beneficial terms supplying the CEPOVETT Safety range alongside the Lafont workwear and hospitality brands with a single point of contact.
Now, equipped with subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Canada, the group are paving the way for international expansion to continue its aggressive growth curve with flexible minimum order quantities starting at single units.
Securing its place in the UK (ensuring delivery ex-Brexit), and Europe, the CEPOVETT Group can now fulfil next day deliveries in the UK on orders placed before 2pm, whilst completing embroidery, heat transfers and screen-printing services with a 72-hour turnaround. The customer-focused operations ensure quality service that can be relied on.
The CEPOVETT Safety brand has built an unrivalled reputation for its premium range of multi-sector technical PPE, designed as a protective shield that provides long-lasting, comforting protection for the everyday demands of hazardous work environments.
Lafont’s rich heritage in professional clothing dates back to 1844. The CEPOVETT group has leveraged the brand’s visionary expertise to craft premium workwear tailored to the construction and industrial sectors. Branching out, the CEPOVETT Group enhanced the Lafont brand’s offering to supply airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The hospitality ranges have become the fastest-growing category in the business, elevated by its newfound global partnership with Michelin.
For over a decade, the Ox’Bridge brand has been refining the image of its clients with bespoke uniform collections that exude luxury. Designing for the likes of Aer Lingus, Air France, Nespresso, and Accor Hotels, the Ox’Bridge design team produces fashion-inspired uniform ranges, working alongside industrial technicians to guarantee both style and substance.
Heavily involved in the field of equipment, protective materials, and containment fields, CEPOVETT Technologies is highly experienced in supplying high-risk areas. Proving the group’s prowess in manufacturing lifesaving equipment, CEPOVETT Technologies supplies the French military with combat and special effects bags whilst manufacturing containment films and waste bags for EDF in the nuclear sector.
Nearshore manufacturing secures greater control of production
The CEPOVETT Group has greater control of its production compared to most of its competitors due to future-proofing investments taken across its nearshore manufacturing facilities in Tunisia, Morocco, and Madagascar. Owning 50% shares with local operators, the business can oversee quality assurance protocols and organise production schedules to meet agile customer demands.
Not only does the company’s nearshore manufacturing bases reduce delivery times to their French and UK warehouses, but it also reduces the carbon footprint which is central to the mission of the CEPOVETT Group’s international expansion.
Sustainable production with the circular model
The CEPOVETT Group maintains a significant focus on sustainability as they plan for the future with a 10-part plan to mitigate the environmental impact of their premium ranges of professional clothing.
Closing the loop on the CEPOVETT and Lafont brands, the group now offer the Boxtextile program to provide collection points for professional clothing at end-of-life. The garments are then sent to the group’s recycling partner to upcycle into sustainable yarns for circular garments or to reuse in other industries such as automotive textiles.
Looking at the bigger picture of professional clothing manufacturing, the CEPOVETT Group has installed hundreds of solar panels on the Madagascar factory, already generating 50% of the total energy consumed there.
CEPOVETT is also playing an instrumental role in the reforestation efforts of Madagascar, planting over 280,000 trees so far and will continue to help develop the nation as the company’s international growth ambitions are achieved.