After selling its factory in Lanester (Morbihan) in 2016, the French lingerie group Chantelle has only one workshop in France. It is located in Epernay, the historic site of the venerable brand created in 1876. “Initially, the company was the market leader in corsets and girdles. In 1960, Chantelle produced her first bra and immediately opened a factory in Epernay,” says Daniela Diaz, Chantelle’s HR manager.
In recent years, prototypes for the design bureau have been made at the site, the project has been relocated to Eastern Europe, the Maghreb and Southeast Asia. But two years later, Chantel Epernay returned to duty. First, by subcontracting their manufacturing tool to brands like Le Slip Français or Decathlon, for whom “manufacturing in France has become a real topic again,” explains Daniela Diaz. Then, creating new links for the Chantelle One line, 100% recyclable items that customers are encouraged to return when they reach the end of their lifespan. “We could not produce an environmentally friendly product anywhere but in France,” says the HR manager.
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This new dynamic forced Chantelle to hire clothing operators. At the beginning of the year, seven people received in-house training, and eight more are currently on deck. For this second “advance”, the group has joined forces with the Institute for Teaching World Textiles, opened last September in Reims by designer Ousmane Ouedraogo and businessman François de Beaulieu.
Tatyana, a 49-year-old Russian woman, is one of them. A former pharmacist, she followed her husband to France ten years ago, so her apprenticeship as a seamstress was put on hold. “But I didn’t stop sewing all these years,” says the student. I sent Shantel two unsolicited resumes, but there were no vacancies. The third one was good. It’s incredible! I’m a little stressed because it’s new, but I’m learning a lot. “Along with the Russians, women aged 19 to 56, with very diverse profiles, and, most importantly, without professional seamstresses.
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With this training, paid for by the Grand-Est and Pôle emploi, Chantel intends to highlight a certain social thread. “We aim to open the doors to people who want to participate, learn and work to create quality lingerie,” says Daniela Diaz, Human Resources Manager at Chantelle. The Group shares these values with the Institute. “We are not just a training center,” confirms François de Beaulieu. Our mission is to protect know-how, to add value to professions that have been abused for years, and to involve people in integration and retraining. »
At the end of this training, students will have an annual CDD.