His story does not begin at the back of a garage in California, but with his fellow student in northern France in Roubaix. Hubert Motte puzzles there with a first collection of belts, from recycled bicycle tires. The sale of around 150 manufactured jewelery brings him almost 4,000 euros, which he will invest in 2017 in the creation of his box, la Vie est Belt, an ethical fashion company. The young engineer from Icam, now 28, worked on his taste for product creation by working on a ski clothing line at Decathlon in Haute-Savoie during a three-year work study program.
In Bogota, Colombia, where he completed his study project, he participated in a solidarity initiative with young people from poor neighborhoods. An experience that nurtured his search for meaning and gave him the desire to bring a breath of organic and solidarity to business. So instead of returning to Decathlon, which offered him a hand with a firm contract, a good salary and a good living environment in the mountains, the Ch’ti dare entrepreneurship.
If he looks at bicycle tires, it is firstly because he, as a fan of the little queen, uses them a lot. And then here is a waste whose deposit is not about to be exhausted. Hard to recycle, it ends up mainly in incinerators. “I wanted to start with a simple and universal product that I could prototype and manufacture myself without large investments.” Finally, the belt, worn by one of two Frenchmen, has established itself in the changing rooms.
Hubert Motte plans to hire people with disabilities. La Vie est Belt hosts AlterEos, an integration company in Roubaix. It has created 7 solidarity jobs there. The winner of the La Fabrique Aviva competition, which promotes innovative and effective projects, the entrepreneur has won financial support of 10,000 euros. In the process, the Ticket for Change incubator offers him his mentorship.
“My pride is to show that we can do things differently by participating in a virtuous model of society,” he confides. And it works. The box has been expanded with 5 full-time employees. After butterfly and keychains made of scrap rubber, it launched a new family of products, boxer shorts, made of discarded sheets and duvet covers. They are made in another solidarity workshop, Résilience.
Since its inception five years ago, La Vie est Belt has sold more than 35,000 belts, 75% on its website, the rest in stores and with collaboration committees. It recycled 11 tons of rubber and 2 tons of cotton. Hubert Motte has set himself two priorities: to do better, especially by protecting itself from supply disruptions, and to expand the range of products by targeting other materials to be recycled, such as car tires, fire hoses or climbing ropes.
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Recorded in the show Who wants to be my partner? on the M6, the young man rejected the proposal from three investors who were ready to inject 60,000 euros into his capital. “I want to remain independent and authentic in the values and missions that I defend,” explains the man, who today is paid 2,500 euros a month against 1,000 euros at the start of his adventure. “I manage my time the way I want and I give myself more than five weeks of vacation a year, rejoicing this free spirit who” ciffs “his job. This life enriches me enormously. I learn a lot of things and I meet incredible people. And I feel in line. “
The eye of management
If sincerity moves the lines, Hubert Motte disturbs the mountains. We assign the palm of the business creator to this gifted man driven by his green and solidary convictions. The proof that business can rhyme with ethics and the joy of life.
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