A taste for challenge, ambition and commitment to a more sustainable world: these are some of the characteristics of the guest in this special edition for the Inside Fairly Made® column. Qualities that have made Fairly Made® the leading SaaS traceability platform on the French market. With the evolution of the legislative framework in Europe, the opportunities abroad are constantly increasing. As the company's first employee, she structured the Sales and CSM team and is now focusing on the next challenge: international deployment, particularly in Italy. Today, the floor is given to Agathe, our Chief of Development.
Agathe, tell us about your background
After graduating from a business school with a specialization in entrepreneurship, I first worked in an NGO in the Philippines to help young adults from the slums develop their entrepreneurial projects. I then joined Makesense, where I was in charge of supporting large corporations on impact projects and collaborations with start-ups in the sector. I met Laure and Camille, co-founders of Fairly Made®, at an event on responsible fashion. One year after our first meeting and after having worked for the Swedish company Karma to participate in its launch on the French market, I decided to join the Fairly Made® adventure as the first employee to structure and develop their business strategy.
What motivated you to join Fairly Made® at the very beginning of its adventure?
What motivated me was not only my desire to join a project in its early stages, but also the fact that its vision was in line with my values and that I was certain of its incredible potential to transform the textile sector. A noble project in which I believed from the beginning for its mission and the innovative character of the product developed. As with all start-up projects, it was a gamble, a risk I was aware of but was willing to take in order to change the textile industry. The industry is still very opaque today and is one of the most polluting. There is still a lot of work to be done to accompany brands in the necessary transition that the sector is undergoing, especially in terms of traceability and impact measurement. Three years ago, these issues were just beginning to be addressed: we were at the beginning of a real transformation in the sector.
What is your role at Fairly Made® and how has it evolved?
I am responsible for the business strategy at Fairly Made®. It all started in 2020, with the structuring and deployment of our SaaS platform. Everything went very fast: our product met a real need for textile brands that was very little addressed at the time: a need for traceability, a better knowledge of production chains and a greater understanding of the social and environmental impact of their products. We quickly brought on board a large number of French fashion brands ranging from luxury to fast fashion: LVMH, SMCP, Rossignol, Aubade, Monoprix, The Kooples and many others. I quickly had the chance to build a team of passionate and ambitious sales people to deploy our solution and accompany the transformation of the textile industry. Today, we have become the leader on the French market. After raising 5 million euros in funding last June, our next objective is to explore foreign markets, with a priority on Europe and especially Italy. Today, I am focusing on this international deployment by working on our global strategy to bring potential Italian partners and brands on board.
It is a job that focuses on understanding the needs of brands
What I am most passionate about in my job is the fact of fully understanding the needs of clients and accompanying them as best as possible. The subjects of traceability and impact measurement are new and very strategic for brands. These are subjects that must be managed in a cross-departmental manner in order to be correctly grasped and properly transmitted both internally and to the production chains.
We therefore discuss with many stakeholders: CEOs, Production and Purchasing Directors to understand their needs and the links with their suppliers, legal teams to support them on upcoming regulations and communication teams to bring value to the information for end customers. So many fascinating subjects that show the added value of Fairly Made® in the deployment of a 360° solution that accompanies all the stakeholders of the company.
What do the brands you work with look for?
Many brands certainly want to be accompanied by experts in order to comply with new regulations, in particular the AGEC Law and the Climate and Resilience Law in France as well as the PEF at the European level.
However, legislation is only a symptom of a deeper transformation that is currently affecting the textile industry. Three actors are contributing to this paradigm shift: public authorities, with regulations coming into force; consumers, who are asking for more transparency and a better understanding of the history of the products they buy; and employees, who want to work for committed brands. These three factors are the driving forces behind textile brands considering traceability and impact measurement as major strategic issues. Hence the need to choose an efficient and comprehensive tool, designed by experts with a deep knowledge of the textile sector.
"Our strength at Fairly Made® is our expertise in textiles and our understanding of the textile industry. [...] We have an in-depth knowledge of the sector and particularly of the complexity of production chains."
This expertise is, after all, the strength of Fairly Made®
Yes, absolutely. Today, many traceability and impact measurement solutions are being deployed on the market, especially with the arrival of new regulations. Our strength at Fairly Made® is our expertise in textiles and our understanding of the textile industry. Our historical activity was to develop low impact and traceable capsule collections for several brands (Zadig & Voltaire, Galeries Lafayettes, Etam, etc). We have an in-depth knowledge of the sector and particularly of the complexity of production chains.
Our traceability questionnaires are therefore adapted to the challenges of the industry, simple and straight to the point, and this allows us to have a very good response rate of 72% from suppliers. As a result, we have tripled the knowledge of the production lines of the brands we work with, right from the first season. We are also at the heart of current legislative changes: our textile experts are part of European and French working groups on new regulations to test new environmental labeling methods and provide our contribution.
Let's talk about Fairly Made®'s international strategy in Italy
Historically, Italy is the European capital of textiles, and we have had a relationship with this country for some time now. A few months ago, we were invited to Rimini to present our work with the European Commission on the upcoming environmental labeling. Last week I had the chance to go to Florence for the E-P Summit, Pitti Immagine's event dedicated to the relationship between fashion and the digital world. This was an opportunity not only to meet potential partners, but also to sign our first Italian clients! In addition, we have just been selected by the Fashion Technology Accelerator, which is supporting us in our deployment strategy.
"This experience also confirmed for us the interest that Italian fashion brands have in issues of traceability and impact measurement. A need that Fairly Made® is able to fulfill in every respect."
How was the E-P Summit in Florence a valuable opportunity for Fairly Made®?
The Summit was an opportunity to get to know other existing tech solutions on the market, but also to meet many fashion brands looking for a tool that could meet their needs. Fairly Made® was the only international company present. Being a French company proved to be a real strength: we noticed that the Italian market players were very interested in discovering how we work in France. Indeed, France is considered a pioneer in the new textile regulations. We are therefore closely watched by our European neighbors. This experience also confirmed for us the interest that Italian fashion brands have in issues of traceability and impact measurement. A need that Fairly Made is able to fulfill in every respect.
You will be staying in Italy in May: what are your goals?
Indeed, I will be in Milan for the month of May to build the foundations for our deployment in Italy. My stay has three main objectives. First of all, we intend to recruit our Country Manager for the Italian market. Second, we want to meet as many potential partners as possible (institutional partners, tech tools, consulting firms, etc.). But most of all, I'll be talking to a many fashion brands to understand their needs and present them this powerful and efficient tool that is the Fairly Made® SaaS platform.
And last but not least... I will enjoy the Dolce Vita! So if you would like to meet with me to discuss a possible collaboration, I will be more than happy to talk to you over a good Spritz !