￼￼Our celebrity /59 ￼￼Phlippe Fosseux, former director of Performance: “Absolutely all of the fabrics by our company are made in Europe” ￼Until very recently (he left his position on December 31st, 2010), Philippe Fosseux was the Director of Performance, the French company making fabrics for image and professional services, as well as technical fabrics for protective workwear, especially PPE – Personal Protective Equipment. Born in 1947, Philippe Fosseux started out in his professional pathway in a position that was closely linked to all commercial roles, as he worked at Olivetti, Pretabail Leasing and Klopman International. It was while working at the latter that he was Director for France, for nine years. Philippe Fosseux starts selling fabrics in Spain, and his work had its continuity in Performance, currently headed by his son Nicolas. When was Performance born, and what is its activity field? Performance was created in Nancy (France) in 1986, to develop and market fabrics that would go to the image and professional services, and technical fabrics for workwear, especially PPE – Personal Protective Equipment. This activity, in close collaboration with five exclusive European partners (Lauffenmühle, Hero Textil Germany, 4F, Mermet Verne and SAS Gauthier in France). Today, Performance is headed by my son Nicolas Fosseux, and invoicing levels total some 20 million Euros a year. The golden rule at Performance is never to accept Asian fabrics. All fabrics are 100% manufactured in Germany and France – spinning, weaving, dyeing, finishes – in order to promote the survival of the European textile industry sector. There are some 650 people working for Performance, producing some 8 million square meters a year, sold at over 20 different countries. Our end clients are clothes makers who buy fabrics to make products they sell to end consumers (industry, services, government, army, police, etc.). Performance’s activity goes beyond that for we also offer technical assistance and pro mote these products among end consumers. What are the actual products by Performance available in the marketplace, and how would you define them? Performance specializes in the following types of fabric: fabrics for uniforms and image wear (hotel chains, restaurants, various services, administration, etc.); fabrics for workwear and corporate wear (industry, services, healthcare professionals, industrial laundries, etc.); and technical fabrics for PPE (protecting against hazards at work in industrial setting). Our products are developed in such a way that end products will comply with the following European standards: Protection against heat and fire: EN 11612, EN 11416; Protection for welders: EN 11611 class I and II; High-vis protection: EN 471; Protection against chemical spills: EN 13034; Protection against electric arc: EN 61482 up to 7 kA; Protection against static electricity: EN 1149-1, EN1149-3, EN1149-5; Protection of electronic materials: EN 61340; White and extra clean rooms: ASTM 209, EN 146. What is Performance’s client profile? Our clients are mostly clothes makers, like I said before, who want innovative, creative products and a full range of fabrics that can meet their every need. Among our clients we also have end users who choose and recommend our fabrics, for a number of technical reasons (resistance, durability, suitable for their own needs in particular, creativity and innovation). And finally, I need to mention industrial laundering services. They are very important clients for us, from all around Europe. How often does your company present new product collections? Performance presents a series of new products every year, at two major international tradeshows: Expoprotection in Paris, and A+A, in Düsseldorf. Such innovations are the result of research, through the use of new fibres, either by applying our own technologies or in response to clients’ suggestions, their feedback throughout that year. For instance, in 2009 Performance presented over 20 new fabrics in A+A. They were by our German partner Lauffenmühle, and included XLATM for extra-stretch properties, in the “Relax” programme. In 2010, Performance also presented a new image for Gauthier, with over 15 new Lauffenmühle 4F fabrics, and some twenty new fabrics or new versions of existing products in terms of both image and protective fabrics. Among them, the new Natura® programme by Gauthier, Cotton Club®, versions ATEX or ESD, Vapor- X and Ultimate Collection by Lauffenmühle. What is the role of exportations, in your company’s activity? Performance sells products to over 20 different countries. As a major activity we sell for the following: Lauffenmühle, to France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Tunisia, Morocco, the Czech Republic; Gauthier, Verne and 4F: the whole world, and especially France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Tunisia, Morocco. In Spain, in particular, Performance is well positioned and present among major clothes making companies in the country.