Initiative & Finance has been supporting Babymoov through the Tomorrow Fund since early 2022.
A specialist designer of childcare and pregnancy products based in Clermont-Ferrand, the company is currently engaged in a far-reaching shift towards responsible and sustainable business. Below, CEO Pierre Magro explains how CSR, alongside innovation and international expansion, is shaping up to be a real driver of growth and talks about the different aspects of a 360° approach.
Tell us about your business and how the company was founded.
Pierre Magro. Babymoov was founded by three friends at the end of the nineties, with a focus right from the start on the needs of parents and children and a keen desire to innovate. Our goal is to take care of future generations. These features underpinned the growth of the business, which now operates in 70 different countries in Europe, North America and Asia and recorded sales of over €60 million in 2021 – half of which was from abroad. Its international expansion has been based on both a solid network of distributors and the establishment of foreign subsidiaries.
Initiative & Finance became a shareholder in early 2022. Why did you make this choice?
The buy-in came about when the three founders retired and a new management team was put in place. Initiative & Finance, and especially the Tomorrow Fund, have a vision that we share: strong growth founded on international expansion, making ESG matters a part of our business, innovation and digital transformation. It’s also about coming together with an approachable team that prefers to support rather than interfere.
Why did you launch a far-reaching environmental transformation strategy? And what does it mean in practice?
The desire to make ESG part of our daily business flows from our basic purpose – taking care of future generations. That means taking account of the impact we have on people and the planet. It’s also a change that owes a lot to the engagement and motivation of Babymoov team members, as well as to consumer expectations.
In 2019, we began to think carefully about putting our commitment on a more formal basis, which led to the official launch of the GreenMoov movement in January 2020. Through this process, we made a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and take actions that promote a better societal and environmental policy. This involves implementing a meaningful 360° ESG strategy across the whole of our value chain – from governance to the repairability of our products to the sourcing of the materials they are made from. We have brought in a responsible purchasing policy and we take account of well-being within the business.
Specifically, in terms of inputs we are working for example to replace some of the things we use plastic for, and we give preference to certified organic or recycled materials. That also involves some serious thinking about eco-design, based on four commitments in respect of our products: repairability, quality, the lifetime guarantee and the possibility of giving them a second life. The process naturally covers transport, too, the aim being to reduce our carbon footprint in the European market and then in the other markets where we operate.
Can you tell us more about the GreenMoov ‘second life’ plan?
This is the “GoodMoov” initiative, which starts from the conviction that we as a brand have a responsibility for the end of life of our products. We take this idea on board right from the design stage, so that products are made to last, not only due to their quality but also through ease of repair. We have developed a range of spare parts, which encourages people to mend products rather than replace them. We’ve also set up a repair and refurbishment business at our Clermont-Ferrand site, which is already enabling us to save 10 tonnes of waste every year. The refurbished products are sold on our website – at a discount compared to the new price – together with a 12-month warranty.
What’s next for Babymoov?
We have set up an ambitious ESG roadmap for 2025, which involves a number of changes. These include extending GreenMoov to our European market, then to the UK and the US. We also want to continue repatriating part of our production to Europe, especially for our soft textile products, and go further in our responsible business approach by focusing on logistics. Initiative & Finance will act as a facilitator in all of these areas. Lastly, we’re working together on external growth transactions – a significant change for a business that has grown organically up to now.