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Triumph International logo.

Triumph International is an international underwear manufacturer. Founded in Heubach, Württemberg, Germany 1886 by the two families Spiesshofer & Braun. The first foreign subsidiary was established in Zurzach, Switzerland which has become the company’s headquarters. The multinational manufacturing and marketing organization operates in 120 countries around the world. It is one of the leading underwear producers in the world and in 2003 had an annual turnover of 1.6 billion Euros, and 38,691 employees.



1886: When Triumph's founders launched their corsetry business from a barn in Heubach (Württemberg) in 1886, they had startup funds of 2000 gold marks and employed 6 staff. As a comparison, the company today has annual sales exceeding 1.6 billion US dollars and employs over 40,000 staff all over the world. At the same time as Paris couturier Charles Frederic Worth was the first man to "enhance" the female form with padding, the two founders of Triumph were setting up their operations in a barn.

1894: Their sharp business acumen brought them an important breakthrough - an order for corsetry from strait-laced England.

1900: In the first years of the century, constricting whalebone undergarments underwent a certain degree of relaxation; corsets moved downwards, so to speak, to become girdles. Women, and European women in particular, were positively electrified by the influence of new fashions such as the tango, and began to dress and deport themselves in ways that brought out their personalities. As Triumph flourished, new generations brought youthful energy and élan into the business.

1902: The name "Triumph" was registered as a trademark in 1902.

1930: In the 1930s, Triumph advanced to the status of Europe's largest corsetry manufacturer - an excellent reason to celebrate the company's 50th birthday in 1936.

1933: After almost 50 years of near-uninterrupted growth, checked only by the First World War, 1933 saw the foundations laid for the company's later international expansion when the company opened its first international branch in Zurzach, Switzerland. Today, the same premises house the corporate financial headquarters and other central corporate departments.

Human rights criticism

In December 2009, two Triumph unions filed an OECD complaint against Triumph International for laying off thousands of workers at its unionised factories in Thailand and the Philippines.[1 ] The complaint alleges that Triumph failed to enter negotiations with the unions involved, and therefore violated the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as well as ILO Convention 158. Triumph replies that the downsizing was necessary in response to the global economic downturn.[1 ] Jittra Cotshadet, former president of the Triumph International Thailand Labour Union (TITLU) claims, however, that Triumph has expanded production at a non-unionised factory in northern Thailand. Ms. Cotshadet was fired last year after an appearance on national television defending the right to freedom of expression.[1 ]



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