On October 12, the very first pilot plant for Authentic Material, the natural materials manufacturer specializing in luxury goods, was inaugurated in the Toulouse region. The event was attended by several major fashion houses, partners and investors.
Authentic Material opened its first plant in Portet sur Garonne in early October.
© Authentic Material
This French company was born in 2016, when its founder Vincent Menny had the idea of diverting an aeronautical metallurgy process to horn, resulting in the recycling of this organic material for use by French knifemakers. Vincent Menny was soon joined by Noémie Dumesnil, with whom he had formed a technical and commercial partnership in a previous company. The duo complemented each other: “I focused more on industrialization, administrative and financial issues, and Noémie on sales development, marketing and communication“, explains Vincent Menny.
A year after its creation, in 2017, Authentic Material realized that the technology applied to horn could be transposed to other organic materials. This led them to collaborate with the big names in luxury goods: “A major leather goods house very quickly grasped the value of innovation and that [encouraged us] to pursue this path,” recounts Noémie Dumesnil. Indeed, the luxury goods industry has evolved in terms of environmental issues, the need to recycle, rationalize materials and optimize supplies, for example“.
Enhancing the value of natural materials
“We work with our customers’ untapped materials to design sustainable materials tailor-made to their image, for their own use,” says the duo on their official website. On a day-to-day basis, we make the most of untapped deposits of natural materials, either from the manufacture of products or from dormant stocks“. And it’s leather in particular that the company has set its sights on, and for which it has made its main reservoir of materials.
But “Authentic Material’s ambition is to deploy its solution in all luxury goods sectors,” say its creators. We strive to offer ever more natural materials through our R&D work. While [they] are unique by nature, as are the projects entrusted to us, our technology can be replicated from one material to another, from one trade to another“.
To bring his factory project to fruition, he had to call on help. Authentic Material, which started out with business angels, was joined in 2019 by the investment arm of BPI France (Industries Créatives) as well as Cuir Invest. “These last two shareholders followed us on a new investment round in 2023 alongside Chanel. Noémie and I are also shareholders,” explains Vincent Menny.
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Front Picture : © Authentic Material