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I have become MWD (Minimal Waste Design) project leader @Decathlon

Updated: May 5, 2020

Massive changes happened in my professional life lately & I feel it’s the right time to keep you updated with more details now.

As some of you might remember, in April 2019 I have been invited by @Decathlon to come over their mountain design centre which is Located in Sallanches (french Alps) in order to facilitate a #zerowastedesign workshop with @Wedze team. During 2 days we worked on reducing textile leftovers which are usually produced when cutting their men beginner skiing jacket.

Then in May, with the help of Eva Pool & Dorien Bolhuis from @Sophilou we facilitated a 2nd workshop for @Domyos during which we worked on reducing the waste produced when cutting baby gym tracksuits.

Both workshops outcomes were promising to such an extent that Decathlon decided to go further in the research and invest in one year POC (proof of concept) study. This is how early October I became MWD (Minimal Waste Design) project Leader & moved to Lille to work at the global design hub.

I accepted to dedicate 80 % of my time to help Decathlon brands going into that direction. This POC phase means that I have one year to prove the benefits of the MWD approach at an industrial scale from conception, manufacturing to commercialization. Then if the final reports I provide highlights significant gains based on ecological & economical indicators, the roll-out phase will begin in October 2020.

It was a bit weird at first to admit I was now working for such a big company which floods the market with billions of clothes every year - and consequently  is highly questionable about its sustainable commitments but since my mission began in October & my recruitment was announced internally, 10 more brands from Decathlon group reached me out because they heard about MWD approach and they wanted to try it out too! Honestly, I did not expect to receive such a good response considering the 3 previous years of struggle I went through by trying to raise awareness. I stood up for an idea that no one believed in in France. An idea I did not invent, I actually discovered on the web thanks to some brilliants foreign designer/researchers, who understood a long time ago that sharing their design techniques - rather than hiding or registering a patent - would serve general interest and drive society forward.  

This opportunity which is as unpredictable as challenging, feels like an accomplishment.

3 years ago, I dared to put myself at financial risk to design a job which did not exist but which I already projected myself in. Pride - to see this job being created in an industrial context since it is a very first in France, in Europe, if not in the world. Obviously we don't have all the answers, a few industrial challenges still have to be taken up but being able now to work collectively on this subject with over-motivated design teams in an industrial context is just a breath of fresh air.

A special thanks to @Amandine Mini, @Balthazar Verlet Banide & @Fausto Esparza from Decathlon who - right from the beginning of the collaboration - took ZWD approach seriously & without whom I wouldn't be leading this unprecedented POC.

Here is a few glimpse of the MWD work session we spent lately working on the skiing jacket.

As a consequence, my entrepreneurial project MILAN AV-JC is currently undergoing changes.

I purposely decided to keep 20% of my time off to maintain a certain freedom & be able to help other brands/schools.

Until I reveal what MILAN AV-JC is going to be made of starting January 2020, I feel like I need to thank the ones who supported me during this 3 amazing years of entrepreneurship. Starting with the entities which financially supported me :

ECO TLC, Bordeaux Métropole, Simplon. Co, La coopérative des tiers lieux and the ones who individually tiped the project in 2017.

Thanks to the 500 hundreds home makers from all over the world who bought my zero waste DIY patterns.

Thanks to the eightyish designers/patternmakers who participated in my clo3d trainings.

Thanks to the only french school who believed in ZWD to such an extent that it is now taught to students ; Le lycée de La Mode de Cholet

Thanks to all the partners :

Co Actions, CAP Sciences, le 127°, La Textilerie, le Textile Lab, Sew & Laine, Salut les Bobines, espace Chifoumi, Diffus Laine Tissus, Plateau Fertile, Hall Couture, Plate-forme Emode, label UAMEP, Hummade, Nordcrea, Le relais Gironde, ATIS, Equitacom, Digital Performer, Fashion Revolution France, Wissew, Ohmypattern, BlanchexBlanche, Makerist,The Fabricstore...& many more

Thanks to all the fairs, conferences or other events which gave me the chance to speak publicly : SudWeb, la maison éco-citoyenne de Bordeaux, Fashion TECH days, Fashion Green Days, TEDx Bordeaux, Avantex, salon Impact, le CETI.

Thanks to all the interns I have had for their motivation and dedication.

& of course a big thanks to my family and friends who support my daily risk-taking.


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