Professors Marina Curran and Bettina Palazzo took a group of Masters Students’ to visit Switcher yesterday morning. A very warm greeting on a wet Monday morning and an invitation to visit the Switcher premises started the day off well.
Switcher, founded by Robin Cornelius over 30 years ago, is a medium sized textile Swiss company located in a small industrial building on the outskirts of Lausanne. Mr Cornelius, then a young, enthusiastic entrepreneurial business student, started up his company which has gone on to become one of the most respected and innovative companies in Switzerland in terms of the vision they have to do business in a transparent and traceable way.
With about 50 employees (who we found to be very friendly and welcoming) this company has forged a strong reputation for working in a sustainable way, putting it in the same league as huge companies such as Marks and Spencer, and Zara to name but a few, according to the Clean Clothes campaign people Switcher is “on the way” The attention Switcher pays to understanding, auditing, and knowing their suppliers is second to none.
Constantine, one of our BSL students, happened to be wearing one of the Switcher t-shirts; so he was invited to read out the details on the instructions tag. From that reading we were able to trace the path of his t-shirt from the cotton fields, to the spinning, weaving and sewing of the said garment. Check out the traceability website http://www.respect-code.org/, very impressive.
Gilles Dana, head of CSR in Switcher, obviously loves the job he does. He believes passionately in the company he works for and understands the importance of the mission Switcher has to educate consumers on the importance of asking a very simple question before purchasing “where does this product come from?”
Well done, Robin Cornelius, Gilles Dana and all the Switcher team – we are with you!!
Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, BCL, LL.M, Solicitor