STENSTRÖMS OF SWEDEN IDENTIFY HOUSE OF MONATIC AS LOCAL MANUFACTURING PARTNER

PRESS RELEASE
20 March 2015

Stenströms of Sweden, leading Swedish fashion label and supplier to the Royal Court of Sweden, recently approached House of Monatic, to manufacture Stenstroms shirts and blouses in Cape Town.

According to Anders Bengtsson, Managing Director and CEO of Stenstroms, the new co-operation is a result of Stenströms decision to move production from Europe and Mauritius to South Africa, creating new jobs in Cape Town.

He adds, “There are a few strong reasons for the co-operation between Stenströms and Monatic. This venture involves two strong companies with a long history. We share many values, namely quality, service, responsibility for staff, social values beyond the balance sheet and trade know-how.

“We are following the global trend of making products last, making them in a sustainable way and producing them locally close to the consumer, leading to positive spin-offs for all.

“At the same time, we would be boosting the South African clothing industry and creating job opportunities in this industry which has been under siege for a number of years.

“Our first consignment made by House of Monatic was well-received when it was delivered recently to Stuttafords, our sole distributor.”

“Our logistics will be improved and our lead time from order to delivery will be shortened to the benefit of Stuttafords. Our end users will also experience quicker feedback on orders and special requests.

In the last five years alone, the traditional Swedish brand has been able to more than double its sales. Stenströms products are available in more than 20 countries. The latest market launch in the US in summer 2014 already is a great success. Stenströms as a brand as well as the collection introduced at their showroom in New York City were very well received by customers in the USA. This positive development stems from focusing on sustainability. “We also design our fashion according to the way we grow,” is how Anders Bengtsson describes his philosophy. “I like to call it ‘slow sustainable fashion’ – design and quality that can still be worn well the next season”.

He adds, “With South Africa being the gateway to Africa, we are hoping we can explore the possibilities with House of Monatic.

“Our target for the first twelve months of co-operation would be to distribute 10 000 shirts made in South Africa and we are looking to double that in two years’ time. Together with our partners, Stuttafords and House of Monatic, we are confident of growing our business.

“As we see it, the possibilities are not only a more affordable and sustainable production. It could also lead to a closer co-operation in a number of aspects of the business, leading to a win-win situation for both organisations and the local clothing industry.

“We also hope to establish a flagship store in Cape Town and in Johannesburg in the next two years. These will be based on our present shop design which has been successfully launched in Europe, with the latest opening at leading department store, Kadewe, in Berlin.

Mike Maurer, Managing Director of House of Monatic , commented as follows, “We believe this co-operation will not only create new jobs and transfer skills but together with a planned R3m investment in new shirt manufacturing machinery, funded by the Productivity Incentive Scheme of the DTI, will further enhance both manufacturing quality and productivity. With the proliferation of foreign retailers opening up in South Africa none of which source any local production it is encouraging to see that Stenstroms takes a different view.

“With both Stenströms and House of Monatic sharing a similar heritage of over 100 years, they have become household names in their respective countries that have been synonymous with hand crafted shirts. Today HOM remains South Africa’s premier shirt manufacturer and, along with its tailoring skills, it has continued to thrive, invigorated by continuous reinvestment in new technology and machinery. Partnering with key strategic partners has been one of its pillars of strength that has led to the sustainability of the company, along with our own brands (Carducci, Csquared, Viyella and Monatic), corporate wear and our own retail stores We have ensured we are the leaders in all facets of the premium tailoring and shirt market. Defying the clothing sector trend, we have had stable employment levels over the last few years and have increased our training school capacity to ensure a steady flow of new entrants.”

Said Howard Gabriels, COO of Wesgro, “At Wesgro we are excited that this well-known global brand will be produced in Cape Town. This investment will contribute significantly to our efforts to create new employment opportunities. We are keen to work with House of Monatic and Stenstroms of Sweden to build the sales on the African continent.”

Said Laura Stewart, Group Marketing Executive of Stuttafords, “As the premium fashion retailer in South Africa, Stuttafords are moving more and more into the premium segment. Stenströms were an important supplier when Stuttafords decided to introduce more premium labels a few years ago, and we are now successfully selling shirts in a higher price range. Stenströms have many loyal customers and we foresee that the cooperation with Monatic will create new opportunities for us to reorder more quickly and the South African production combined with European top quality fabrics adds a new dimension to the product that would go down very well with our customers.”

Marie Ramberg, Marketing Manager at AB Stenströms Skjortfabrik, is also delighted about this development and has high expectations of the venture.

Stenströms support StreetSmart SA, a registered non-profit and a public benefit organisation that distributes raised funds to selected beneficiaries. The current beneficiaries in South Africa are organisations that work with street children and those who are vulnerable and at risk of becoming street children. StreetSmart SA raises money via participating restaurants, and distributes it directly to organisations who have the experience and facilities to help vulnerable children. Participating restaurants display a StreetSmart SA card on their tables, informing patrons that a voluntary R5 donation will be added to their bill, which they may increase at their discretion.

ENDS
Issued by Rosemary Hare Public Relations
P O Box 12521
MILL STREET
‘ 8010

On behalf of Stenstrӧms and House of Monatic
1 Regementsvägen 364 Victoria Road
HELSINGBORG SALT RIVER
SWEDEN CAPE TOWN

For more information, please contact Rosemary Hare on (021) 438 7013 or 082 459 6226 or visit www.stenstroms.com
High resolution photos can be downloaded from the website.

BACKGROUND
Stenströms philosophy
For us, fashion is more than just clothes. It is a lifestyle, a feeling and a sense of pride. This passion permeates all decisions we make: creating fashion and clothing that breathes sustainability in both quality and production. You can see and feel the care, knowledge and creativity we put into our garments.
From the first design sketch and choice of fabrics and buttons to how the garments are manufactured. Every cut, every stitch. Everything is thought out and worked through together create the essence that is so unique to a garment from Stenströms.