Vestechpro wants to share the news of its customers, to familiarize you with the world of applied research in business and innovation in the clothing industry in Quebec.
For this third article in the series, we met Sébastien Jacques, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Attraction.
Attraction: the importance of ecology and equity
In 1980, the Gagnon brothers founded the company Attraction in the form of a sports store. Addressing the end consumers first and foremost, the company has instead reoriented its sales offer as a supplier to intermediate companies. To date, this family-owned business in Lac-Drolet, Quebec, is owned by Sébastien Jacques and his spouse, Julia Gagnon, Vice President Operations. Their clothing production is focused on two areas: the recreational and tourist sector, including clothing sold in various souvenir shops in Canada, as well as the promotional sector, which, developed over the past 10 years, represents almost 50% of their sales.
The whole team is also committed to reducing their environmental footprint by using recycled materials for the production of Ethica brand products. The company also relies on the automation of several workstations, including screen printing, resulting in a re-use of screen printing frames, a reduction in the chemicals used and a reduction in electricity. Attraction is therefore committed to the work environment of its employees in addition to the environmental issues involved in their activities.
The return of local production
Like many other Quebec companies, Attraction has been greatly affected by the two economic crises of 2001 and 2008, as well as the abolition of tariff barriers. To do this, the company has diversified to maintain its competitiveness. Attraction currently has two main clothing lines: the Ethica brand and the Initial brand, to meet the different needs of a global clientele.
Indeed, the Ethica brand is made entirely in Canada, thanks to the work of their unionized employees, from textiles such as organic cotton and recycled polyester. Thus, Attraction responds to the growing demand for "reshoring" or "relocation" of production in the country of origin.
Nevertheless, in order to meet a more accessible demand, Attraction also holds the Initial brand which, although locally designed, is then manufactured in Asia. Although the textiles used, and the places of production, are not the same between the two brands, the cut of the clothes remains similar. Thus, no matter the budget of the customer, this one can be found through the various offers of the company.
The well-being of Attraction employees: a priority
The major challenge for manufacturing companies remains the lack of skilled labor in the country. In order to respond to this problem, several projects have been set up over the last few years, including Défi Carrière Mégantic and Défi 2025, aimed at attracting and retaining employees and employers of choice in the Lac-Mégantic region. More specifically, the various committees aim to mobilize the community to increase the population of the region by 2025 by 2025, by soliciting workers from outside the region and newcomers. A certification process with companies is therefore encouraged to support the initiative.
It was for this purpose that Attraction received the "Outstanding Employer" designation from the Quebec Bureau of Standardization (BNQ) with an employee satisfaction rate of 88%.
This official recognition underlines the quality of the company's workplace as perceived by its employees and positions Attraction as the first manufacturer in Estrie to successfully complete its certification process. The motivation of employees, their happiness at work, listening to their employer, the atmosphere of the place, as well as the transparency policy of the company remain very important criteria, being in the very values of Attraction, says Mr Jacques. Thus, the company aims among other automation of several new workstations, as well as the decomplexification of the tasks to be performed, to improve the comfort and working conditions of employees.
Why work with a CCTT?
In order to realize this need for automation and optimization of operations, Attraction has called upon Vestechpro to assist in certain technical projects such as the 5S method in order to continuously improve the management of their operations.
Indeed, one of the mandates of Vestechpro, as a College Center for Technology Transfer, is to support the digital transition of companies in the garment industry, particularly regarding their means of production and their technologies.
Find Attraction products on their website: http://www.attraction.com/
Vestechpro thanks Sébastien Jacques for his collaboration.