A discussion with Bernard Cugerone, CEO of JRC Reflex

03/02/2020
A discussion with Bernard Cugerone, CEO of JRC Reflex

"We're on a constant hunt for innovation"

 

 

The Blossom Première Vision show provided an opportunity for the Marketplace to talk to JRC Reflex, one of Europe's leading makers of high-tech fabrics. Making time for us between meetings with his international customers, CEO Bernard Cugerone told us about his company, and more specifically, its latest innovations and firm commitment to eco-responsibility.

 

Founded in 1988, JRC Reflex is a French-Italian family business specialized in technical fabrics, with offices located in Romans in France and Bergamo in Italy. In 2008, the company acquired one of its long-standing suppliers. This allowed it to advance its innovation and R&D, and ensure total control of its production. Today JRC Reflex has become the European market leader and is the only company in Europe to manufacture stretch retro-reflective materials.

 

 

Mr. Cugerone, could you describe us some of the unique features of JRC and its core products?

 

JRC is a manufacturer of technical fabrics, and specialises in retro-reflective materials. Its key historical product is the STRETCH REFLECTIVE, which is exclusive to JRC. We have built our reputation and our added value on innovation and customization. For example, our products come in over ten different base materials, and more than 500 colours. We can produce even small quantities on demand, which makes us extremely nimble and flexible. As the European market leader in Sport & Tech, we are constantly on the lookout for innovations so we can always stay one step ahead of our customers.

 

 

 

Can you tell us about your clients, and what they are specifically looking for in your collections?

 

Our company generates 98% of its turnover from exports, 80% of which comes from Asia. About 50% of turnover is derived from the Sport segment and 50% from the Luxury segment. This comprises clothing as well as shoes and luggage. Our customers - whether in Luxury or Sport - are looking for highly specialized products that they can't find at our competitors. We can meet the strictest standards, which is a key factor in working with the majority of our customers, especially the sports brands. We have received the Oeko Tex Class 1 classification, which is the most stringent grade for this certification.

 

Eco-responsibility is more than just a trend and has become a central focus in the textile industry. What are some of JRC's concrete advances in this area?

 

You can't forget that the Sport & Tech sector has always been a very proactive and upstream leader in the field. Very early on, our customers submitted demanding requests necessitating innovation. For the most part, they have put in place internal guidelines with their own precise specifications - in addition to the traditional certifications -  with clear deadlines for moving to 100% recycled products. This has been very challenging and also stimulating for our company, which has consistently been able to meet their requirements. That is why today we can meet the demands of luxury houses, which are increasingly turning to recycled products. We've made giant strides in terms of recycled products, so that now we can offer recycled polyester and polyamide bases and we're working on new bio-polymers.

 

Innovation is a core element of your collections. How is this reflected in your company? Where do your teams get their inspiration?

 

We have our own laboratory with in-house chemists working on the various components and stages of fabric production. We have 100% control over our production. We also take advantage of being at Première Vision to draw inspiration from the enormous amount of fashion information presented there.

 

Can you tell us about some of the highlights from the AW 20/21 collection you presented at the PV Paris show, which are currently on the Marketplace?

 

We have developed new products that actually change colour according to how they're lit. You can find these products online on the Marketplace.

And we are continuing to orient our R&D towards eco-responsibility. We are more and more interested in bio-polymers in light of the growing demand from our customers.

 

As an active member of the Marketplace, what do you see as the advantages of being part of the platform?  Have you already seen results?

 

As I mentioned earlier, JRC has particularly technical products and our customers have very precise specifications. So it's essential that a Marketplace platform showcasing our products provides flexible filters and technical information tailored to our needs. And the  Première Vision Marketplace does that. We are now getting very positive feedback from our customers, and sample requests. And we can't wait to see what comes next!

 

You can find the JRC Reflex shop on the Marketplace.

 

 

Fabrics | Technical fabrics | JRC REFELX, France | Réf : TIS145ELASRS - TISSU REFLECHISSANT BI-ELASTIQUE | 80%NY 20%EA | See more

 

 

Fabrics | Technical fabrics | JRC REFELX, France | Réf : TIS145ELASPC - TISSU REFLECHISSANT BI-ELASTIQUE | 80%NY 20%EA | See more

 

 

Fabrics | Technical fabrics | JRC REFELX, France | Réf : TIS145ELASPC - TISSU REFLECHISSANT BI-ELASTIQUE | 80%NY 20%EA | See more

 

 

Fabrics | Technical fabrics | JRC REFELX, France | Réf : TIS145ELASJF - TISSU REFLECHISSANT BI-ELASTIQUE | 80%NY 20%EA | See more

 

 

You can find JRC Reflex at the Première Vision Paris show from 11 to 13 February in Paris and at Première Vision Sport this coming 12 and 13 February in Portland (USA).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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