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A historic landing at Simons

5 Aug 2016

A great sailboat built in 1928 is currently cruising across the Atlantic. On board, expertise and tradition are making the long journey from France to Quebec. Destination: Simons. And the captain of this unforgettable adventure? Port Franc.

SHOWCASING ETHICAL PRACTICES AND AUTHENTICITY

Port Franc is a transatlantic merchant that connects North American consumers with independent French artisans. At the helm of this business are Fabien Loszach and Joël Labrousse, business partners with a shared passion for homegrown products and traditions. 

Through their connections and expertise, the pair selects goods that are manufactured using time-honoured skills and techniques passed down from generation to generation. Their mission is to facilitate ethical and sustainable intercontinental trade.

Photo credit Instagram @portfranc

Through their connections and expertise, the pair selects goods that are manufactured using time-honoured skills and techniques passed down from generation to generation. Their mission is to facilitate ethical and sustainable intercontinental trade.

We minimize the chain between production workshops and consumers, which allows us to offer fair rates and focus on alternative modes of transportation while also raising the profile of businesses that have never relocated and that continue to produce their goods by hand.

Mr. Labrousse 

A COLLABORATION WITH THE WIND IN ITS SAILS

It was the Charentaise, a handcrafted slipper distributed by Port Franc, that first stirred interest at Simons. During a meeting with the purchasing department, Mr. Loszach spoke about the dream that he and his associate were nursing of one day importing their products by sailboat. More than a simple nod to the history linking the Americas with the Old Continent, the idea was intended as an eco-friendly initiative.

The project and its environmental scope immediately caught the attention of Peter Simons, himself the descendant of a merchant who made the transatlantic crossing several times a year to bring exclusive products to the people of Quebec. Thus fell into place the foundations of a historic collaboration.

On June 4, 2016, a vessel by the name of Picton Castle set out from La Rochelle, France, with a shipment of high-quality pieces from four well-known French fashion houses. Over the course of eight weeks, the boat will have made its way across the Atlantic driven solely by the wind. Once it docks at the port of Quebec, its merchandise will be transported to the Simons Distribution Centre by Alexandre Taillefer's electric Téo Taxi service—a further promotion of carbon-neutral practices.

A JOURNEY TO OUR ROOTS

The items aboard Picton Castle each carry their own history, the history of their manufacturers, and centuries of technique and unique savoir-faire. North American consumers are on the verge of discovering the famous Charentaise, dating back as far as medieval France, and the emblematic navy shirt produced by Fileuse d'Arvor, the oldest active hosiery business in Brittany.

Discover a completely ethical collection of authentic French products coming from family businesses that have passed on their unique skill and passion for handicraft for several generations. Available online and at our Place Sainte-Foy, Galeries de la Capitale, Old Quebec, Downtown Montreal, Carrefour Laval, Square One and Park Royal South store locations

Learn more about our collaboration with PortFranc.co

Shop now our online selection !