Production in 2020 should go beyond half a million garments
GUY Cotten and its distinctive yellow logo can be seen in fishing ports around the world and, more recently, it has also become a permanent feature in the aquaculture industry. This leading manufacturer of foul-weather clothing sticks to its principles – designing and manufacturing innovative, hard-wearing and comfortable waterproofs.
The family owned business is now run by managing director Nadine Bertholom-Cotten, whose father started the business in 1964. From its headquarters in Concarneau, France, the company started by supplying oilskins to the local fishermen. Very quickly, the business diversified and moved into new industries like sailing, farming and food processing.
Innovation: key to the success of Guy Cotten
Listening to the demands of consumers and offering innovative solutions to their challenging working conditions are key to the success of the Brittany based manufacturer. A typical example of this is the conception of the Ostrea waders. The observation of the wear and tear on standard waders used in oyster farms revealed that the abrasion generated by the trestles was one of the main sources of failure of the trousers. A simple answer would be to make the fabric thicker, harder and heavier, but this would also make the trousers very uncomfortable to wear. Instead, an alternative answer was found by the team at Guy Cotten – adding a sacrificial layer on the legs of the waders. This external skin prevents the scuffs and cuts from damaging the chest-high waders underneath, prolonging the life of the garment. The Ostrea waders can now be seen from the west coast of Ireland, to the Aven and Belon rivers, just a few kilometres away from the factory.
Besides constantly working towards extending the life of the garments, Guy Cotten also focuses on improving the comfort and flexibility of its products. In recent years, the Hybridpro+ collection was added to the range. The Drembib trousers, Drempro jackets and Dremtop smocks bring breathability to the protective clothing worn in the aquaculture industry without compromising on durability. A clever panelling technique allows the wearer to enjoy the comfort of a true breathable fabric in some parts of the garments, while other areas remain made of the renowned PVC coated fabric exclusively used by Guy Cotten. These products are now used on many salmon and mussel farms all over Europe and North America.
And it is not just outdoor clothing that is treated to the lateral thinking of the Guy Cotten R&D. The development of the Confort and Isoconf range for the handling and processing of seafood proved that even the wearing of aprons could be greatly improved. These new designs bring unequalled comfort by using wide shoulder straps and a perfect and natural fit around the body.
These products add to the long list of innovations and patents developed by Guy Cotten, such as the Magic Hood, an articulated hood that follows the movements of the head, or the Isolatech, an insulation technique that dramatically reduces moisture and condensation inside the garment.
Worldwide presence and a new factory to cope with international development
Guy Cotten has long been well-established across Europe and North America, and the subsidiaries in Scandinavia, in the UK and in the USA are there to offer a tailored service to their respective domestic markets. More recently, Guy Cotten has increased its presence in Latin America and the little yellow logo has now reached the Chilean salmon farms and the shrimp sector in Ecuador.
A few years ago, the decision was made to increase production capacity in order to cope with the growing international demand for higher quality waterproofs.
The opening of the new factory near Concarneau only a few hundred metres away from the original site took place in 2019. Guy Cotten now has three locations in Brittany – one in Landaul and two in Tregunc – as well as a location in Madagascar that produces a range of agricultural workwear. All use the same equipment and processes, with a uniform quality across the group.
Production in 2020 should go beyond half a million garments and, although Guy Cotten can now be found across the world, the company is determined to remain close to its roots in Brittany in order to protect the quality of its production and know-how. The focus on innovation and quality, combined with new modern production facilities and an ever expanding network of distributors across all continents will ensure that Guy Cotten remains a market leading company for decades to come.
You can find out more about the company by visiting the Guy Cotten website at guycotten.com.
Captions: Featured image:Drempro breathable jacket; Top to bottom: Isoconf apron; Ostrea waders; View of the new factory in Concarneau, France; the production line; Double-skin on the legs of the Ostrea waders;