In keeping with this approach, we are now placing equal opportunities at the heart of our Durable Elegance model. Although anyone can work towards achieving their goals, the most vulnerable often may need support to overcome the barriers, restrictions and even discrimination arising from their circumstances. For Lacoste, equal opportunities must enable everyone to develop their talents in order to reveal their full potential.
This is why we are now committed to helping young people who lack confidence, socially disfavored people or suffer from handicap, in order to promote their social development and integration into professional life.
Trough The Lacoste Elevating Journey, we encourage our employees to go out and meet these vulnerable people, to offer them personalised support according to their age and needs. These different programmes aim to pass on our knowledge and expertise to those who need it most.
A CENTURY OF COMMITMENT TO THE MOST VULNERABLE
- RENÉ LACOSTE AND ANDRÉ GILLIER - THE ORIGINATORS
- A COMPANY MAINTAINING THE SPIRIT OF ITS FOUNDERS
- OUR TEAMS, THE PRIORITY
MAKING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES A REALITY
- OUR ROADMAP FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
- OUR COMMITMENT TO PEOPLE FOR 2025
A CENTURY OF COMMITMENT TO THE MOST VULNERABLE
René Lacoste and André Gillier - The Originators
The creator of the crocodile brand believed in the values of sport and mutual assistance as tools for empowerment. He believed that by supporting vulnerable people, it is possible to help them overcome the barriers and constraints linked to their social conditions, in order to give them the ability to act and achieve their goals.
René Lacoste demonstrated this when he gave young people from some of the poorest backgrounds the opportunity to play golf, thus helping to create an entire generation of champions. When, during the Second World War, he entrusted young workers with the planting of 40,000 trees for the family golf course at Chantaco, he combined environmental and social action by preventing these men from being sent to Germany for forced labour as part of Compulsory Work Service (STO). Throughout his life he helped many young people reach their potential, by cultivating team spirit, motivation and self-improvement.
“Confidence, tenacity, perseverance, rigor:
with weapons like these, everyone can build a life.”
His partner and friend André Gillier, who was entrusted with the production of his polo shirts, shared the same values and desire for greater social justice. André was a leading figure in the French hosiery industry and his avant-garde social policy earned him the nickname “Industrial philanthropist”.
A COMPANY MAINTAINING THE SPIRIT OF ITS FOUNDERS
The Lacoste company - and subsequently its foundation - have always cultivated this spirit of solidarity inspired by René Lacoste.
Covid : the Group has responded
In 2020, more than 200,000 anti-Covid protective masks were produced by its historic factory in Troyes and offered to the inhabitants of the Metropolis.
In the same year, Lacoste also launched an exclusive polo shirt to thanks all the volunteers who work for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The entire turnover of the Merci Polo was donated to the IFRC in support of the volunteers who make its heart beat faster.
Illness weakens, Lacoste helped to fight it
Lacoste financed medical research, which included, on his 60th birthday, launching a worldwide campaign to support the fight against multiple sclerosis. Similarly, for many years, proceeds from his Pink Croc Collection have been donated to breast cancer research in the United States.
Tsunami : implementation of disaster aid
Following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Lacoste donations enabled a charity to help 142 orphaned children, offering various means of support from counselling to education loans. The company provided 10,000 items of warm clothing in the most affected areas and participated in a sale to raise funds for the Red Cross.
Lacoste supports people with disabilities who want to demonstrate their talents
Since 2013, Lacoste has been clothing the French Olympic and Paralympic teams. In order for both teams to represent French elegance and benefit from the same comfort, tailor-made clothing is essential to accommodate the morphology of each person, whether they have a disability or not. In the workshops, the outfits of the 250 Paralympic athletes are being redesigned.
The Lacoste Foundation
Established in 2006 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, its objective is to restore the confidence of socially disadvantaged young people by instilling into them the values of sport. Drawing on a network of partner associations active in 8 countries, the Lacoste Foundation has helped 70,000 underprivileged young people between the ages of 6 and 21 to flourish, gain self-confidence, follow their own path to achieve their goals and build their lives.
Our teams, the priority
As the architects of its past and future success, Lacoste’s employees occupy a special place at the heart of the sustainable development initiative. The integration of diverse backgrounds, gender equality, safety, development of skills and employability, detection of potential and career management of talent within the Group, are all prerequisites for the deployment of initiatives with external stakeholders.
For our employees to become ambassadors of the company’s values and to ensure its development in harmony with its commitments, their professional fulfilment is a priority, reflected in the human resource policy.
MAKING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES A REALITY
At Lacoste, we believe that the contribution of each stakeholder is essential to fight against the growing inequalities that fracture our communities. In addition to our responsibility as an employer, we are aware of the societal role that companies like ours can play alongside public authorities and the many key players in the educational and community sectors in promoting the inclusion of the most vulnerable.
Aware of this responsibility and strengthened by its social heritage, Lacoste has placed equal opportunities at the heart of its Durable Elegance approach, developed a roadmap, and quantified its commitments for 2025.
Our roadmap for equal oppotunities
In 2020, the crocodile brand is launching its Elevating Journey roadmap to promote equal opportunities. Designed to promote the social and professional integration of people who are socially disfavored or suffering from handicap, this plan is based on three specific areas, depending on the age and needs of the beneficiaries:
- Self confidence: Work with vulnerable young people to boost self-confidence, restore self-esteem, develop life paths with them and help them to build their career vision with enthusiasm.
- Qualifications: Share our expertise and know-how with disfavored or young people suffering from handicap who have a passion for fashion, enabling them to acquire skills and professional experience, enhancing their employability in the industry.
- Starting-up: Support socially disfavored people or people suffering from handicap to make their entrepreneurial dream in the fashion industry a reality by providing them with our expertise and resources.
Restore confidence in their own abilities to vulnerable young people is an essential step to enable them to project themselves into the future and develop a life path.
This fundamental work is more than ever at the heart of the Lacoste Foundation’s mission, whose resources have been boosted in recent months to extend the network of partner associations and its geographical coverage.
As an extension of the grassroots work carried out by the organisations supported by the Lacoste Foundation, we want to extend child or adolescent sponsorship on a large scale. Based on the feedback from pioneering experiments initiated by our employees in recent years, we believe this type of long-term individual support is one of the most effective ways of enabling young people in vulnerable situations to look to their future with the confidence they need.
In addition to these plans, Lacoste also wants to help young people have a better understanding of the business world and fashion industry.
The Lacoste foundation
THE LACOSTE FOUNDATION IN ACTION
Four iconic examples illustrate the support provided by the Lacoste Foundation to vulnerable young people, through its support to partner associations.
As part of the activities of this Foundation, which helps children from Brazilian favelas to flourish through global educational assistance, Lacoste has been supporting the “Open Game” programme for 12 years. Mixing sport and culture, it is dedicated to young people aged 8 to 18 living in the Caju favela of Rio de Janeiro. These children are given the opportunity to learn and practice five different sports: tennis, judo, table tennis, gymnastics, and Futsal, during their free half-day before or after school. They also participate in tournaments. Each class begins with a 15-minute discussion on values.
In addition to these weekly classes, the programme provides cultural outings and trips to the United States as well as events where families and community members are invited.
children have benefited from this programme since the project was launched in 2006.
Lacoste has been supporting this association since 2010, which focuses on the development and professional integration of young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Most notably, the Foundation funds its “Match Ball” programme, exclusively dedicated to young girls. It aims to prevent inhibition in adolescence, through sport and education. Today, this project involves 250 teenage girls, living in 17 neighbourhoods in Ile-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône Alpes. The programme includes weekly tennis lessons, tournaments and invitations to inspirational events such as the US open and Roland Garros.
Combining sport and education, “Match Ball” also involves inviting these young girls to cultural outings and company visits throughout the year, internships during the school holidays and holiday camps, both in France and overseas, organised by other Lacoste Foundation partners such as US City Park in the United States and Gol de Letra in Brazil.
teenage girls aged 8 to 14 were accompanied
Every year since 2010, Lacoste has supported the “Tennis School” project, implemented by the Auteuil apprentices who welcome children and teenagers at risk. Deployed in 21 facilities (10 social Children House, 8 boarding schools, 2 high schools and 2 primary schools), it caters for young people aged 6 to 20. As part of the association’s programme of education, training and integration, it offers them effective tennis lessons, organises a major annual tournament, and offers them a one-week training course to improve their skills.
Lacoste’s employees are also voluntarily involved in the school.
For example, Ophélie and Bich-Hanh gave a presentation on the visual merchandising and development profession. In conjunction with Lacoste’s Human Resource department, other employees volunteered to offer internships or to present their profession in order to encourage young apprentices from the association.
592 young people from 6 to 12 were involved in this project in 2019.
Eloquentia is one of the new associations supported by the Lacoste Foundation. Through its workshops on rhetoric, stage expression and vocal coaching, this association helps everyone “find their voice”, by encouraging dialogue and building confidence. Their work with young people, featured in the acclaimed film “Speak Up!” (“À voix haute – La force de la parole” in French), in perfect harmony with Lacoste’s commitment and activities, prompted the company to become involved with the project, in line with its long-standing support for Apprentis d’Auteuil.
As a result, since 2020, Lacoste has been offering young apprentices training sessions for a cumulative duration of between 14 and 28 hours.
Mentoring of young people
Discovering the business world and the Lacoste company
At Lacoste, sharing our expertise is at the heart of our approach to equal opportunities. As a company committed to excellence, we know that a lack of qualifications or professional experience can be a discriminating factor when applying for a job.
At Lacoste, we cannot simply accept this fact. We believe that anyone who is genuinely interested in working in the fashion industry should have the chance to showcase their talent and potential. This is why Lacoste is committed to helping people who lack training and are interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry.
First of all, Lacoste wishes to increase access to internships for people who are socially disfavored people or suffering from handicap. .
By 2025, the company plans to reserve up to 10% of the existing global internship offerings in the entire Lacoste ecosystem for these candidates.
Internal awareness-raising work is currently being conducted with potential internship supervisors. In order to welcome these people in the best possible conditions, we offer each training supervisor a training and monitoring framework to ensure the course runs smoothly throughout its duration
In addition to its internship policy, Lacoste wishes to strengthen its role as a trainer by opening its Academies, originally intended for the training of its own employees, to welcome people from outside the company, particularly in our two areas of excellence:
Manufacturing via our Manufacturing Academy
Sales, via our Customer Experience Academy.
The manufacturing academy
The customer experience academy
Equality of opportunity must also be extended to equality in undertaking. This is why Lacoste wants to offer tailor-made support to entrepreneurs who intend to work in the fashion industry. For motivated people, social background or disability should not be an obstacle to entrepreneurship. However, it is essential to master each aspect and stage of the process for the project to be viable and its launch to be successful, such as conducting a market study, writing a business plan, defining the business status, financing, manufacturing, developing a commercial action plan, creating a website, and communicating on social media. These are some of the areas where we can help young entrepreneurs with their projects by making our resources available to them.
From 2022, Lacoste will help entrepreneurs create their own business by assisting them throughout the process. Each year we aim to help five entrepreneurs turn their dreams into a reality
During several months and over a period of one year, each of the five programme participants will be supported by a Lacoste mentor who will help them navigate their way around the company and access the necessary resources and meet with the relevant experts for their projects.
In addition, with the help of their mentor, the participants will have the opportunity to talk to any relevant Lacoste experts about finance, law, production, operations, logistics, design, marketing, and research. All of our expertise will be at the disposal of the participants.
During the programme, a seminar which brings together members of Lacoste’s senior management and external experts around the five entrepreneurs, will support them in the finalisation of their project thanks to collective intelligence.
The whole process will help the young entrepreneurs reinforce the viability of their projects. Finally, they will present their project to the Lacoste Executive Committee, which may award them with a grant contributing to the financing of their project.
“Whatever the activity, the desire to improve is the purest path to satisfaction.”
OUR COMMITMENT TO PEOPLE FOR 2025
Lacoste employees involved along with vulnerable young people
vulnerable people accompanied in their social or professional insertion.