"You have to try things and not be fearful"
Marketing and Communication Director and member of the management committee of the well-known French SME, Le Slip Français
, Caroline Tiquet
leads a team of ten people in charge of marketing (commercial animation, product marketing, etc.), corporate com ( social networks, PR) and the creative “factory” that designs the brand's content. A graduate of CELSA (Master in Intercultural Management and Communication and a Bachelor in Communication), Caroline, 34, was previously Director of Development & Communication at the advertising agency Havas Paris. After starting her career at SFR as a communications manager, she joined the i&e agency (Opinion Valley) to manage global communication budgets, particularly in the mass-market sector. Caroline Tiquet is also a speaker at CELSA.
1 / What does a typical day of a #ConfinedComDirctor, for Le Slip Français, look like ?
It's pretty intense, but basically it's as usual, conferences & calls, except that we are at home. What is new, is seeing the setting of life of each other and all these little accidents of communication which create a form of intimacy, the children who cry or the noise of the coffee machine, in the background. There is also another good surprise to this strain, it is the gain of concentration. When we hang up, there is no one to disturb or interrupt you. In the middle of these studious days, there are of course the breaks. I connect to the slack chain #wewillsurvive, created by our employees in a completely spontaneous way. We share jokes, recipes, funny videos…. It brings a little lightness. And to stay in active, I do Dynamo training, Swedish gym and cook desserts ... all live streamed.
2 / You say that you create “honest clothes”, could you explain this claim?
We make clothes that are “good for you, good for the world and for everyone”. We favor local, ecological and recycled materials. "Honest" clothing sums it up a bit, the responsibility, the eco-design and the usefulness of functional clothing, designed for comfort.
3 / Why the sudden stop of consumption does impact you?
The retail activity stopped overnight with the closure of our 22 stores on March 16. We lost 40% of our turnover and the whole company is partially unemployed. Only our e-commerce activity continues even if delivery times have been extended by the application of protective measures for our teams in workshops and warehouse.
3 / We are entering the 6th week of confinement, can you explain to us how the comm your business is unfolding?
Very quickly, we wondered how we could be useful and decided to support the production of protective masks. We coordinated our voluntary workshops and donated to the requisitioned workshops of our residual stocks of fabric. We also federated and equipped more than 650 manufacturers and suppliers with collaborative digital tools to produce more than 10 million masks in March and April and 1 million overcoats which are intended for employees on the front lines of mass distribution or waste management. . In terms of internal communication, we have kept the existing meeting formats so as not to create a break. And we have launched new formats like Radioslip (referring to London radio during the war), in which Guillaume Gibault gives news every evening, in a relaxed fashion, news on the activity and the state of the troops. For the outside, we created a daily logbook
embodied by Guillaume, to tell about our implication in the manufacturing of masks. We relayed it on our social networks and added a very successful Instagram LIVE show. We have also reviewed our content production to leave more room for substantive topics by creating two corporate and product newsletters for our community of customers, partners, journalists, etc. Click-through rates, opening rates have been very satisfactory until generating increasing sales by 57%. On the PR side, there was no question of any press release that would have been indecent, the newsletters and social networks did the job and the journalists came to us naturally. Otherwise, we have significantly reduced the acquisition and web marketing budgets.
4 / How do you envisage the continuation of the confinement and the coming months?
It may seem paradoxical, but I am optimistic. Our ambition at Le Slip Français is to reinvent the textile industry and I am convinced that the collective momentum of the entire fashion and luxury textile sector will continue and go in this direction. In terms of communication, we will stay on our line, carrying our commitments loud and clear through our products, which will help us, I hope, to resolve the issue of destocking in the coming weeks. And then we are thinking about how to accompany and support the reopening of stores, with what tone, what messages and what operations. Finally, we are going to take advantage of this slightly slack period before May 11 to reaffirm our values and advance our Manifesto campaign in the press.
5 / The textile sector is one of the most polluting industries in the world. How do you see the next world in your sector?
It is not impossible that people will find it even more insane to wear underwear that has traveled thousands of miles before arriving at home. The awareness initiated before the COVID-19 crisis will most likely increase. People will want to consume better and rather for the benefit of positive brands, honest and concerned with the collective interest. Everything suggests that consuming will become a political and cultural act in its own right.
6 / On a personal or professional level, what are the lessons that you draw from this extraordinary crisis?
As in any crisis, we must move forward with discernment, keep a cool head, and at the same time, this unprecedented crisis has prompted us to accept a great deal of improvisation. The emergency was the masks, we did not have our own workshop but 29 partner workshops which were impressive in terms of responsiveness. We put everything on stand-by and we went there. You have to try things and not be fearful.
7 / On another note, do you still think that BONHEUR EST DANS LE SLIP?
Le Slip Français was built on a crazy idea. 10 years later, we are still here. Boldness pays and it pushes us to move forward. So yes, if you want to change fashion and the world, you have to start with Le Slip!
Le Slip Français is a French SME, which manufactures and distributes clothing (underwear, clothing, sleepwear, bath, accessories) entirely designed and made locally. Founded 9 years ago by Guillaume Gibault, a committed entrepreneur, the Slip Français was born from an asserted societal conviction: to support new consumption and production methods to promote the local, employment, know-how and transmission. The brand, which is distributed in 22 own stores, achieves 60% of its turnover through e-commerce and achieves total turnover of 22 ME in 2019. The SME directly employs 115 jobs at headquarters and 220 people in the 29 partner garment workshops.