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SOL’S: The Fair Spirit

With 25 million garments constantly in stock, a huge collection of products and customers in 57 countries, SOL’S is one of the major players in the European promotional textiles industry. The Parisbased company is not only a design and logistics expert, but also engages itself in ethical matters – according to the motto “We say what we do and we do what we say.”

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Operational Marketing Manager Christelle Lopez and CEO Laurent Ostrowsky.

Occupying around 1,000 m², SOL’S, the Solo Invest SAS, resides in the heart of Paris in the rue Réaumur – in the Sentier, where the headquarters of numerous textile and fashion specialists are also located. The various departments of the family company, which was founded by the present President, Alain Milgrom in 1991, are united under one roof on one level. Around 100 people work here in the Administration, Sales, Customer Service, Design Development, IT, Web, Marketing, Quality Control and General Administration Departments or as Managers. Everything evolves around the central point: At SOL’S the focus lies on the customer and his satisfaction with the textile specialist’s service performance regarding quality, price, service and the shortest possible delivery times. This strong orientation on the customer and his demands is also reflected spatially in the layout and position of the different departments.

Quality & service

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The 22,000 m² warehouse can only be called impressive.

CEO Laurent Ostrowsky: “We have a quite simple motto for our corporate culture: We say what we do and we do what we say. We produce clothes that act as a communication medium. Our items are exclusively sold to distributors and professionals. Our head office is here in the centre of Paris and we have an extensive warehouse spanning 22,000 m², almost within sight of the harbour where between 60 and 100 people work.“ “This warehouse enables us to deliver more than 3,000 parcels within 24 hours,“ added Chief Operating Officer, Frédéric Tahon. 25 million garments are stored here constantly, over 1,000 containers from the Far East are unloaded here every year. One mustn’t forget we are not just a textile supplier, but also a logistics company.“ Intelligent work processes and structures ensure that the top corporate goal – customer satisfaction – can be achieved.

Germany is the second biggest market after France. “Our products are available in 57 countries via our subsidiaries and the collaboration with trade partners,” explained Operational Marketing Manager, Christelle Lopez. “But our ‘designed in Paris’ products are coveted throughout the globe. We design a new collection every year here in Paris and in addition to 15 complete ‘families’ of textiles, we also offer for example caps, bags, accessories and hand and bath towels. Many products are available as ‘Twin versions‘ for both men and women. We develop novelties with a fashionable touch, but we also guarantee the continuity, consistency and availability of our lines. We are indeed textile suppliers, but not a fashion label in the true sense of the word. Because our customers don’t want something new every three weeks, they want continuity, reliability in terms of the quality and service and of course all of that for a sensible price.“

The company issues its own 212-page wellstructured catalogue every year, which appears in 14 languages. This year it includes 38 innovations. There are also additional sales tools such as brochures containing the novelties, DVDs and of course the web portal www.sols-europe.com with the SOL’S Academy.
This innovative instrument enables distributors to show their end customers on-site everything that is possible with the products of SOL’S. The garments come in up to 36 colours and partly in sizes up to 5XL, some are even available in up to 10XL. How and where they can be customised is displayed in a 360° view with a zoom function online, which is visualised in a very detailed and clear way. “The website of the SOL’S Academy, which has been online since January 2014, is available in eight languages, it enables a closer examination of our products and it conveys knowledge and information to our distributors and industry customers in a fast and clear manner,” is how Lopez described this service. Furthermore, several short videos can be called up that describe the activities of SOL’S more clearly.

High standards

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Product Assistant Raphael Lustman presents some examples from the current collection.

“We have been manufacturing together with long-term partners in factories in the Far East for years. Of course, all of the production sites are certified, we also meet all of the respective standards and this is also documented,” stressed Ostrowsky. “We carry out controls in collaboration with SGS, one of the world’s leading companies for inspections, controls, tests and certifications, on the production steps; ensure that the Geneva Declaration on Children’s Rights is strictly adhered to – child labour is forbidden – and naturally comply with all applicable regulations such as REACH, for example. Furthermore, we use recyclable packaging and avoid harmful substances in the dying processes of T-shirts and polo shirts for example, and the same applies for our cotton towels, which is corroborated by the OEKO TEX CQ 1094/1 and CQ 1094/2 certifications.“

Social commitment

SOL’S also asserts itself for fair trade, which is manifested by the OCS certification and the Fairtrade label. Since June 1, 2014, SOL’S is affiliated with the Fair Wear Foundation and is thus continuing its efforts and commitment by ensuring the Fair Wear Foundation Labour standards are adhered to in its factories.

“Here at SOL’S we believe that with our commitment the working conditions are consistently improving,” explained Ostrowsky. “This also applies for the overall living conditions of the population, of above women and children. This is why we have been supporting not only the Agarasindhur Hospital of the NGO Nari Uddog in Bangladesh financially for years, but also their efforts for the emancipation of women and the general and school education of children. We believe that our support is more effective than withdrawing from these countries.“

SOL’S also supports the Sreepur Village Shishi Polli Plus orphanage and regularly launches campaigns for charity and collects donations that are to be implemented to defend human rights.

www.sols-europe.com

A detailed report about the French promotional products market can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2

An interview with two French service providers can be found here: “Good opportunities for foreign suppliers”

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2016-10-21T14:22:48+00:00 August 13th, 2014|