Synergy and Collaboration between Brands in a House of Brands

In this interview, we delve deeper into the synergy and collaboration among the brands within the House of Brands together with the CEOs. The Campaign & Content Strategist had an open conversation with Dries van Heurck, Betty Cramer, and Carl Schulze to provide more insight into this intriguing collaborative dynamic.

Dries, how do you perceive the synergy and collaboration among the brands in the form of a House of Brands, and what unique value does this bring to the market?

The key in a House of Brands is that each company retains its own value. Each brand has its own DNA, and that should be strongly emphasized. The brands should be complementary to each other and align seamlessly. We also share a connecting piece of DNA, which is our commitment to being leaders in sustainability, as well as everything related to social matters.

“Each brand has its own DNA, and that should be strongly emphasized.”

Betty, how is synergy mainly applied, and how do the brands maintain their individual identities?

We primarily collaborate on the service aspect while continuing to operate as separate brands. The delivery of clothing will remain distinct for each brand. However, we do offer a complementary clothing package, allowing us to provide a well-rounded offering to our customers. We have everything in place to ensure safe operations.

We have a complementary clothing package, which allows us to offer a suitable range across the board for our customers.”

Carl, could you tell us more about the strategic objectives behind this collaboration and how they align with the individual brand identities and long-term goals?

We have jointly developed a vision that outlines where we aim to be in the future. Over the coming years, we will take steps together to achieve this vision. This involves crafting a strategy above the waterline: what the customer sees and experiences. Additionally, we’re establishing a strategy below the waterline: how we operate internally, how we combine our strengths. It’s crucial that we present “one face to the customer”: collectively, HAVEP, VH & Hydrowear stand under the VP Textile banner as a House of Brands.

“It’s crucial that we present ‘one face to the customer’.”

How do you maintain the individual brand values and reinforce them while leveraging the collective strength of the House of Brands?

We achieve this by translating the DNA of each brand into a clear Value Proposition. This document clearly outlines what each brand does and doesn’t do. We will continue to operate in the higher-end segment, developing high-quality, sustainable clothing.

Carl: “We translate the DNA for each brand into a clear Value Proposition.”

Betty, how do you ensure clear communication channels and collaborative structures among the operational teams of the three brands to foster innovation and shared learning?

We have established that the brand identities should be reflected in the clothing. Documents have been created for this purpose, and Dries, as the Head of R&D, is responsible for ensuring this. These agreements are set for a few years and ensure that we maintain our distinct appearances.

Betty: “Foremost, the identity of the brands is evident in the clothing.””

Dries, in terms of product/service development and innovation, how will this collaboration enable new and improved offerings that cater to customer needs and preferences?

Through our collaboration, we gain more volume and impact, enabling us to undertake ambitious endeavors and intensify innovation. This will support us both in the short and long term. In the realm of sustainability, we’re already doing this. Each brand has its own ESG goals, but as a House of Brands, we’ve also established shared ones. This keeps us sharp and drives us toward excellence together.

Dries: “Collaborating, our partnership provides us with greater volume and impact, enabling us to undertake ambitious endeavors and engage in more intensive innovation.”

Finally, how do you ensure that brand differentiation remains intact and the risk of product/service cannibalization within the House of Brands is minimized?

We continuously challenge each other on the value propositions set for each brand. The R&D department oversees this and ensures that products and developments remain aligned with the DNA of the three brands. New concepts are shared to enhance the overall offered product-service combinations.

Carl: “We continuously challenge each other on the value propositions set for each brand.”

Thank you, Dries, Betty, and Carl, for this insightful discussion about the power and dynamics of collaboration between brands in a House of Brands. We wish you success on this exciting journey ahead.

This year, we’re thrilled to unveil our House of Brands at the A+A fair in Dusseldorf for the first time. Join us from October 24 to 27, 2023, and be part of these exhilarating days!

Stylish and Durable

Sustainability plays a significant role for E/D/E supplier VP Textile. The focus is on the longevity of products, circular economy, and adherence to ethical standards throughout the entire supply chain.

With the three brands HAVEP, Hydrowear, and Van Heurck, VP Textile is a manufacturer of workwear, protective clothing, and rainwear. A first and important step towards sustainability is embedded in the company’s claim to exclusively deliver quality products. By using high-quality materials and implementing appropriate quality controls, the company consciously produces durable clothing. The commitment goes beyond functionality and style: workwear and protective clothing should be comfortable and aesthetically appealing while being of such high quality that they can be used for a long time.

“We are convinced that we can produce products that are high quality, sustainable, and produced ethically, regardless of where they are made in the world,”

Els de Ridder – Sustainability Manager VP Textile

Circular economy as a goal

Currently, textile production mostly follows a linear model, resulting in adverse environmental consequences and making the textile industry the second-largest global polluter. Els de Ridder, responsible for sustainability management at VP Textile, states, “We consider this unacceptable. We believe in establishing a circular textile industry and are fully committed to achieving this goal 100%.” VP Textile has opted for a circular business model based on four facets of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

  • When using new raw materials, prioritize organic or recycled origins (reduction, natural origin).
  • Extend the lifespan of clothing through repair and reuse.
  • When clothing is no longer usable, recycle the raw materials.
  • Utilize as much renewable energy as possible and limit harmful chemicals (detox).

Fairness throughout the supply chain

Products for customers worldwide are manufactured at production sites in Macedonia, Tunisia, China, and India. Part of VP Textile’s sustainability vision is to ensure fair and ethical working conditions at all production facilities. Furthermore, the company strives to ensure these conditions throughout the entire supply chain. In line with this vision, the three brands of VP Textile are members of the Fair Wear Foundation, with HAVEP and Van Heurck achieving leader status. This category is reserved for member companies that excel in monitoring production sites. Consequently, the company exclusively collaborates with manufacturers who share their commitment to good working conditions. This means that workshops must adhere to the FWF Code of Labor Practice, which includes free choice of employment, freedom of association, the exclusion of child labor, discrimination, and excessive overtime, as well as fair wages and a safe and healthy working environment.

The Company

VP Textile is a renowned fifth-generation family-owned company with a history of over 150 years. The textile manufacturer operates the brands HAVEP, Van Heurck, and Hydrowear. With company-owned production facilities, they employ 900 staff worldwide in the production of rainwear, multi-norm clothing, workwear, and jerseys. The main headquarters are located in Goirle and Emmen in the Netherlands, as well as Lier in Belgium.

This article was published in PVH Magazin on 10 July 2023. Read the full magazine here.