In 2014, the French textile industry represented around 2,400 companies manufacturing yarns, fabrics and textiles for clothing, furniture or technical use, 130,000 jobs and sales of around 34 billion euros, almost 5% of the total for manufacturing industry. As the leading supplier of high-end fashion and luxury goods, the textile sector must continually invest in the creation of new materials to satisfy ever bigger orders, with collections being renewed from one season to the next. Fashion and luxury goods are a major sector for the French economy. By combining know-how, quality and creativity, they contribute to the image of France, as well as the dynamics of tourism and retail.
The luxury goods industry remains a strategic industry for France and is no. 1 worldwide: in 2014, out of 270 prestigious brands in the world, 130 were French. This feeds through to a high growth rate and a trade balance strongly in surplus, all supported by significant development prospects in France and abroad.
But to retain its leading position, the textile industry must keep a close eye on the fragility of certain links in the production chain so as not to see them disappear along with their know-how, at the risk of economic dependence on a limited number of contractors and the financial fragility of young designers.
The challenges for the textile and luxury goods sector therefore remain considerable in order to consolidate brand awareness and market shares, and to conquer new ones. The clauses in supply contracts must be closely scrutinized, the choice of distribution networks must be meticulous, without forgetting protection of the portfolios of intellectual property rights – trademarks, drawings and models – and the fight against counterfeiting around the world. In all cases, cash and financing remain at the heart of the battle.
To this end, the law must necessarily be taken in a cross-cutting approach to contribute in a decisive way to supporting the winning strategy of textile manufacturers, in France and abroad.