Sports Brand Salomon Is Manufacturing 90,000 Masks
As COVID-19 continues to spread, France, like many nations, is facing a shortage of masks for frontline workers. In an effort to protect local communities, SAC brand member Salomon, part of the Amer Sports family, is partnering with one of its key suppliers more than ever. When Gilles Reguillon, CEO of the French manufacturer Chamatex, approached Salomon asking whether it could produce washable and reusable textile multilayer masks, the sportswear company didn’t hesitate to help. Despite having to make challenging adjustments, like socially distancing workers, Salomon immediately transitioned its prototype lab to manufacture masks.
Ten textile production specialists at Salomon’s Soft Goods Prototype Center in Annecy, France who usually develop prototypes for Salomon’s apparel and gear are now producing 90,000 DGA (Direction Général de l’Armement, the French Defense Procurement and Technology agency) certified masks by June. The specialized masks will help protect frontline workers with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Typically, the textile production specialists at Salomon’s Soft Goods Prototype Center develop prototypes of ski boots, jackets, shoes, backpacks, and many other products. With a need for protective masks, the team quickly moved from developing numerous products to only manufacturing masks. “This is a different project for us,” says Jean-Noel Thevenoud, manager of Salomon’s prototype lab, “But the team has been eager to help since the crisis started. When we got the call, everyone was ready to go. We’ll get back to making outdoor sports gear soon enough, but right now we are very happy to use the skills of the team to help in these times.”
Chamatex is distributing the multi-layer masks through pharmacy networks and French municipalities to ensure they arrive as quickly as possible to workers who need them urgently.
"This is a different project for us, but the team has been eager to help since the crisis started. When we got the call, everyone was ready to go. We’ll get back to making outdoor sports gear soon enough, but right now we are very happy to use the skills of the team to help in these times.”
SALOMON PROTOTYPE LAB MANAGER
Since its founding in 1947, Salomon has fostered strong and transparent relationships with its value chain partners. “Our suppliers are part of our family,” says Céline Mazars, Salomon Material Manager of Footwear. Now more than ever, this kind of partnership and collaboration is necessary as the global apparel, footwear, and textile industry responds to the impacts of COVID-19.
Salomon’s commitment to equal partnership is founded on its deeply held belief in social and environmental sustainability. Every other year, it invites its suppliers and factories to a summit event at its Annecy headquarters focused on different themes, like using minimal transportation and eating local food. Salomon maintains its strong value chain partnerships using the common language established by the Higg Index, which it started using in 2016. “Using the standardized tools in the Higg Index allows us to speak the same language and be transparent,” says Mazars. As a result, Salomon feels a true sense of partnership with its suppliers. Mazars says, “We have partners that are really dedicated and very motivated to work with us.”
Read the use case about how Salomon uses the Higg Index to create transparent and collaborative supply chain partnerships.
Read more about Salmon’s COVID-19 efforts.
SAC member Amer Sports, Salomon’s parent company, represents numerous internationally recognized sporting goods brands, like Arc’teryx and Wilson.