Filt: weaving the way towards export

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Catherine COUSIN

Managing director, Filt

Seminar Industrial adventures | Thursday May 17, 2018 - 8h30 - 10h30

As a result of the 2001 Japanese tsunami, Filt lost 30 % of its sales. Japan had been very important in Filt’s activity. In normal circumstances, this would have resulted in the company going bankrupt (like 50 % of French textile companies over the past ten years), but, in the face of this catastrophe, it bounced back strongly, and embarked on a strategy of exportation and diversification of its markets and products. When Filt was founded in 1860, the company made storage nets, but following the tsunami, it relaunched the string shopping bag of yesteryear, and made it a trendy product, selling throughout the world. Having lost its know-how, then finding it and finally transmitting it, earned Filt the label of ‘Entreprise du patrimoine vivant’ (‘a living heritage company’). Filt continues to innovate, and today has thirty colours (two more than its emerging rivals), four models and a sustainable development approach which has turned the ban on plastic bags to the company’s advantage. In 2000, exports accounted for 10 % of the company’s turnover whereas they are now close to 50 %. For Filt, the world is at their doorstep.

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This session was published in issue n°135 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled L'incertitude, ce tsunami.

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