10 years after selling the ready-to-wear company Mado Marcel, Thomas Sardi has launched a new challenge: to wear the colors of Made in Roanne by bringing “Marcel” back into fashion.
Do you know why the famous white tank top worn by millions of French people is called the Marcel? Quite simply because the first company to market this garment, in series and in cotton, was the Marcel hosiery. A company managed by Marcel Eisenberg and located in… Roanne. It has since disappeared, but it is this local know-how that Thomas Sardi intends to revive with his brand “Les Tricots Marcel”.
The forty-year-old is far from being unknown in the Roanne textile community. For around fifteen years, with his mother and sister, he managed the ready-to-wear company Mado Marcel. An SME with 150 employees, in very good health, sold in 2009. “I had always worked in the family business. I had enough, I needed a change of scenery. » With his wife and children, he arrived in Bali where he lived for 5 years, between surfing and real estate investments. “We came back to Roanne every year, and paradoxically, it was at this time that I really learned to love this territory. » So much so that upon returning to France, he set out in search of a new entrepreneurial adventure. Not necessarily in textiles, but necessarily local. “One day, I saw a Facebook post about the origin of Marcel. I became interested in it and finally I started, almost as a joke. »
Two years later, the business is back on track. With Marcel collections offering varied colors, sizes for men, women and children and complementary ranges of recycled sweatshirts and checked shirts. Everything being almost entirely manufactured within a radius of five kilometers around Roanne. The knitting is carried out in Riorges by MCF, the dyeing in Coteau by TAD and the manufacturing by the solidarity company Ithac. The labels and labels come from Saint-Étienne. Only the yarn, Pima cotton (Peruvian production) is imported from abroad. “What a joy to be able to tour my partners in a few minutes! »
Thomas Sardi markets his clothes mainly via his website, but also through around ten stores specializing in Made in France, as well as at the Roanne tourist office. His ambition? The entrepreneur displays it bluntly. “My idea is not to recreate a big company. I want to wear Made in France and highlight Roannais know-how. »