Value chain

The production of textiles is laborious and requires a series of individual steps. Each and every link in the value chain is of equal importance and every person participating in the production of our towels is intended to benefit from it. For us, transparency during production is key when it comes to operating sustainably and thus matters a whole lot to us. After all you, as the customer, are also part of the value chain: And the more you can relate to the path that a product has travelled, the more consciously you can make your purchasing decision.

Our towels go on various journeys prior to being used in bathrooms and on the go. fouta Sablé is made in Switzerland, from the yarn to the assembly. fouta Classique, on the other hand, is woven at small manufactories in Tunisia and knitted by hand as per tradition. The local needs and requirements are very different in Switzerland than in Tunisia. In both locations, we try our hardest to achieve an optimal value chain and carry out our work with respect for people, the culture and the environment.

Design

For us, sustainability begins with the design. This is why we believe in a timeless product that is long-lasting, steeped in tradition and allows for a variety of possible uses. The design and development of our products occur at the fouta studios in Zurich and Neu St. Johann. Since 2017, fouta has been part of the traditional textile company Meyer-Mayor AG in Toggenburg. For more than a century, Meyer-Mayor AG has been conceptualising and manufacturing home textiles made from cotton and linen.

Raw materials

We exclusively use 100% high-quality organic cotton from certified organic sources for all our towels. The cotton originates from plantations in India and Turkey. No chemical fertilisers or pesticides are used during cultivation, ensuring safe working conditions for the cotton farmers and that our products are free from chemicals. This makes our towels friendly to the skin as well as ideally suitable for small children. We only use long-staple yarns, which makes the towels pleasantly soft and extremely durable, as well as scruff- and tear-resistant at the same time.

Yarn

The yarn for our fouta Sablé towels is spun in Flums in the canton of St. Gallen. The traditional spinning mill “Spoerry” has been making high-quality yarns since 1866 and is the last remaining spinning mill of its kind in Switzerland.

The yarn is then dyed in accordance with the strict environmental regulations set out by Johann Müller AG in Strengelbach in the canton of Aargau. In 1845, the Müller family began processing their yarn in their farmhouse in Strengelbach. For more than 180 years, the family-run business, now led by the family’s fifth generation, has co-authored a significant chapter in Switzerland’s textile history.

The yarn for our fouta Classique towels is spun in Dietenheim in Baden-Württemberg in Germany, prior to being shipped to Mahdia in Tunisia. Otto Garne was founded in 1901 and has been a pioneer when it comes to employing environmentally friendly, sustainable and fair production methods in the spinning mill and the dye factory.

Weaving mill / production

Our fouta Sablé towels have a granular, organic structure and were named after the weaving template that we found in a historical binding book in the Textile Museum St. Gallen. The structure arises from the reorganising, adding or removing of warp and weft threads. This method is quite unusual for fouta towels, the result, however, has impressed us.

fouta Sablé towels are woven in the Weberei Russikon weaving mill near Zurich, an affiliate company of Meyer-Mayor AG. The weaving mill in Russikon can also look back on a 100-year-old history and is one of today’s specialists for high-quality cotton weaving with nearly 70 employees. The working and production conditions correspond to the highest standards. The Russikon weaving mill is one of the few remaining companies in Switzerland that still trains apprentices to become textile production assistants.

Our fouta Classique towels are made in small weaving mills in Mahdia, Tunisia. The weaving mills consist of just a few looms and are usually family-owned businesses. The production of finely woven fouta cotton towels has a long tradition in Tunisia and is part of the centuries-old Arabic bathing culture. We try to build up long-term partnerships whilst respecting the local culture and traditions, and do our best to constantly improve the working conditions together with our production partners.

After the weaving process, the raw-white warp threads are usually knotted by women at home as per local custom. This creates the typical fringes. In Tunisia, where gender roles are allocated in accordance with tradition, home-based work is one of the ways to secure a regular income and thus a sense of independence.

Quality check and assembly

Small irregularities or errors in the fabric naturally result from the weaving process and rejected goods are part of textile production. However, using modern and more precise machines, as well as trained specialists, waste can be minimised. This is why waste is low when it comes to our fouta Sablé towels produced in Switzerland. Nevertheless, each and every towel in New St. Johann is checked by hand for errors in the weaving. Only then we move on to assembling the towels and sewing on the fouta labels.

There can also be irregularities with our fouta Classique towels, which is typical of handcraft. Faulty products are already sorted out in Tunisia. In contrast with our “Swiss perfectionism”, fault tolerance is a little higher in Tunisia. In collaboration with social institutions from Switzerland, we therefore conduct a second quality check. At the Drahtzug workshops in Zurich, as well as in our studios in Neu St. Johann, every single towel is meticulously examined for faults in the fabric. The Drahtzug organisation enables people with physical disabilities to integrate into the workforce and into society in the long run.

The number of discarded products at our manufactories in Tunisia was relatively high in the beginning. In order to reduce waste and save precious raw materials, we quickly had to find a solution. Today, we use the discarded products of our fouta Classique M and L lines to create completely new products, such as our fouta Classique S everyday towels, baby bathing towels or the products in the Upcycling series.

The term upcycling represents our dedication to reutilisation. In contrast with recycling, the available materials are reworked into new products without much energy expenditure. We have created our current Upcycling collection in collaboration with the apprentices at the LU Couture studio in Luzern. LU Couture is actively involved in preserving the profession of the garment designer and accepts around 10 new apprentices every year.

Distribution and sale

We deliver to our retail partners in Switzerland and Europe, as well as to our customers around the world, from our warehouse in Neu St. Johann. You will find our products in selected shops  or directly with us on our online-shop.

Questions and suggestions

Do you have any additional questions or suggestions? Contact us, we are looking forward to hearing from you!