According to the Institut Français de la Mode, of the €30bn worth of clothing purchased in France in 2019, only 3% was made in France.
“Although it spills a lot of ink, relocating clothing production in France is, in my opinion, rare, because manufacturing is a very labor-intensive activity,” says Gildas Minvielle, director of the IFM Economic Observatory. “The term reindustrialization would be more appropriate: maintaining and protecting the existing structure, and revitalizing an industrial network. This is what digital brands such as Le Slip Français and 1083 are doing, by combining local production with innovative sales technologies.” On the other hand, fashion made in France sells very well abroad.
According to data from French Customs, exports increased on average 5% annually between 2010 and 2019. It is estimated that they will represent €10.4bn in 2021, approaching their pre-crisis level in 2019. China is making a spectacular breakthrough, accounting for around 9.2% of these exports in 2021, compared to 2.6% in 2019.
This article was previously published in the Spring 2022 issue of our sister magazine Formes de Luxe.