A little over 40 years ago, the Guy Cotten workroom was set up in Concarneau. Today the company employs more than 300 people all over the world. These have been forty years of ideas, innovation and experimentation with a view to greater comfort, resistance, and safety for people at sea, farmers and for outdoor leisure.
The conquering of the Seas started on the docks of fishing harbours. This was the period of heavy, uncomfortable, easily damaged oilskins, made of coated cotton. In Concarneau, having observed this closely, Guy Cotten and his wife perfected tougher wear. The lightness of the fabric meant they could double the thicknesses and even triple it around the knees. This was a revolution on the docks. The increase in comfort was acknowledged and the clothing lasted three times longer. The craftsman became a salesman in the evening and on Saturday morning, as well as marketing his goods from boat to boat in the harbours of south Finistère.
This period saw the emergence of sailing schools which were to experience a real explosion in numbers. At the time, only jackets with poppers or pea-jackets that could be pulled on over the head were available on the market. Not very practical! At the Rosbras Sailing Centre, the founder and coordinator, Yvon Hemery remarked: “How is it that no-one has ever come up with an item of clothing with the waterproof qualities of a pea jacket and the practical advantages of an ordinary jacket?”, and also put this question to Guy Cotten. A few days later, students at the Centre tested the first foul weather jackets with a double flap combining self-grip fasteners and a zip! The ROSBRAS JACKET was born. The principle of the jacket with a double flap combining zip and self-grip fasteners launched by the company is now commonplace. The range was extended and products were made to order.
An increase in the number of large offshore races and a real enthusiasm for the sea, as well as the start of partnerships with important names in sailing was to accelerate the company's success. The “Nav” jacket was launched and completed the wide range of foul weather gear (30 articles). This jacket with a large fur-lined collar was sent by thousands to all corners of France and Europe. The extremely comfortable “Skipper” jacket also made its mark. Much sought after by its customers, it provoked several waves of imitations, with a count of no less than 16.
After professional foul weather gear came clothing for large trans-oceanic races and yachting in general and 40 years later GUY COTTEN launched a new range to meet new requirements: · A range of sailing gear for children under the KID COTTEN and CHANTEPLUIE trade names. · A range of sailing gear tailored for women and made of elegant materials. · For men, a line of COTTON trousers, shirts, and short-sleeved shirts completed the ABRI DU MARIN collection with more than 200 articles in at least 5 sizes and a wide variety of colours. There are as many different types of clothes as there are clever ideas and details that make the difference.
Le vélo, passion de Guy Cotten, aurait pu le détourner du monde de l'entreprise : le vélo
Après avoir représenté des vêtements d'extérieur, Guy Cotten ouvre un atelier à Concarneau avec sa femme
Création de la veste Rosbras, devenue référente. L'atelier emploi 10 personnes et produits 1500 articles par mois
Nouveaux ateliers à Trégunc et premier catalogue
Création du logo par Alain Le Quernec
Gilet skipper, veste de navigation doublée de fourrure textile
Slogan 'L'abri du marin', trouvé par Raymond Le Gouës
Achat de la société Piel au groupe Pirelli
Lancement de la TPS qui contribuera au sauvetage de Thierry Dubois et Raphaël Dinelli lors du Vendée Globe 1996
Guy Cotten est chevalier du mérite maritime. Sa fille Nadine Bertholom, prend la direction de l'entreprise
Cotten SA a 40 ans, réalise 15 millions d'euros de chiffre d'affaires et poursuit l'élargissement de ses gammes