Interview with Mrs.Erzsébet Tóth, owner of ÊTRE Organic Underwear
Dear Erzsébet, when did you start producing underwear?
My colleague and I have more than 20 years experience in the field of underwear producing. We both made Triumph underwear. Personally, I was the plant manager of a 60-person sewing factory. After Triumph was denounced, I determined a plant need and I bought my own machines and searched for new clients. In 2013 as an enterpreneur I started to work with a Spanish company and I have been working with them till now.
Because of the gained experience in the field of producing, I always thought that we would be able to make products under our own brand. I had been thinking in which ways would my brand be different from others. Hence, I reached the conclusion to produce eco-friendly and health supporting products. I think that the whole world is going in this direction and not just the fashion industry.
I started to use only plan based, eco-friendly materials not synthetic ones. All of the components (fabric, yarn, trimmings, label) has a quality certificate (OEKO-TEX® Standard 100) which guarantees for the user that during the whole process chemicals – which have a harmful effect on health and environment – are not used at all.
The target audience of the new organic underwear collection are men. Why is this change?
So why did we make a man collection despite the fact that we are making woman underwear? This is the reason exactly. From one hand designing and producing a woman underwear collection is a more complex procedure not to mention the necessary materials and fittings. Use of colour seems also simpler in the men’s underwear at starting but also patterned materials should be considered besides the uni ones. Later we want to create our own woman underwear collection as well, but just after the men’s collection.
Could you speak a little about your company?
I founded ECO-VILL-TEXT Kft in 2016, currently we have a monthly production is 12-13.000 pieces of women’s underwear, slips and undershirts. If it is necessary, we could broaden our production capacity with buying special machines which would develop not just the quality of products but also the efficiency and furthermore we can employ more local labour power, more sewing workers as well.
Have you already started the production of your new organic men’s underwear brand called ÊTRE?
From the planned production line of ÊTRE we have already made a so-called basic underwear collection using three colours (white, black and grey), the used fabrics contains 46% bamboo, 46% organic cotton, and 8% elastane (for flexibility of the fabric). The proper packing is very important for the brand; it is an elegant but simple carton box designed with ecological concept in mind. Also, the logo which looks like a green postmark refers to the sustainable traits of the product and the used materials. When we agree with material and fabric suppliers in all terms, the production could start because the technical, personal and production background is assured. We are waiting to cooperate with such commercial partners who are thinking primarily of merchandising eco-conscious, sustainable and high quality products.
Which characterics of these products would you emphasize?
The current men’s underwear collection of ÊTRE is made from bamboo and organic base material which is antibacterial, skin friendly, during its production harmful chemical agents are avoided. The bamboo material is very sustainable, the plant is quickly growing, it does not require treatment with chemicals, usually GMO free, during biodegradation it helps the soil quality and prevents soil degradation. Moreover, it reduces the greenhouse effect. Products containing 100% bamboo are biodegradable.
As eco base materials do not belong to the cheapest category I want to ask to what extent does it steepen the price of the product compared to other rivals especially to asian ones?
We do not want to compete with the cheap Asian and other bulk goods, hence a present fashion trend which says to buy less but better and (if it is possible) sustainable products is more and more fashionable. So, we offer such men’s underwear which suits such consumer expectations. Obviously, our target audience are those who think eco-conscious lifestyle is important and those who want convenient, skin friendly, hygroscopic underwear without negative consequences with regard to health (which is not achieved in case of synthetic and other inexpensive products treated with harmful chemicals). These products represent a beautiful and pure natural style including the packing, and its prices are competitive compared to other European brands which represent high quality inthis category.
Thank you for the interview, we wish good luck and we are waiting for further news of ÊTRE.
Photos of products can found here: Virtual show room
Image clip: link
Blog post by: Dr. Gabriella Mányi-Walek, Helén Török