La Vie est Belt, a company that proves that business can keep up with ethics

His story does not begin under a garage in California, but with his roommate in the North of France, in Roubaix. Hubert Motte tinkers there with a first collection of belts, from recycled bicycle tires. The sale of approximately 150 pieces made brings her nearly 4,000 euros that she invested in 2017 in creating her 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 at a ski clothing line at Decathlon, in Haute-Savoie, during a three-year work-study program. .

In Bogota, Colombia, where he completed his education project, he participated in a solidarity initiative with young people from poor areas. An experience that nourished his search for meaning and gave him the desire to bring a breath of ecology and harmony to the business world. So, instead of returning to the Decathlon, which offered him a permanent contract, a good salary and a good living environment in the mountains, Ch’ti dared to do business.

If he looks at bicycle wheels, it’s because, as a fan of the little queen, he uses them often. And then here’s a waste whose deposit isn’t about to run out. It is difficult to recycle, it mainly goes into incinerators. “I wanted to start with a simple and universal product, that I could prototype and make myself without heavy investment.” Finally, the belt, worn by one of the two French men, was already established right in the dressing rooms.

Hubert Motte plans to use people with disabilities. La Vie est Belt is hosted by AlterEos, an integration company with Roubaix. It has created 7 jobs in solidarity there. Winner of the La Fabrique Aviva competition, which promotes innovative and influential projects, the entrepreneur won financial support of 10,000 euros. In the process, the Ticket for Change incubator offers him its mentorship.

“My pride is to show that we can do things differently, by participating in a divine model of society,” he confesses. And it works. Expand the box with 5 full-time employees. After bow ties and key chains made of scrap rubber, it launched a new family of products, boxer shorts, made of discarded sheets and duvet covers. These were done in another solidarity workshop, the Résilience.

Since its creation five years ago, La Vie est Belt has sold more than 35,000 belts, 75% on its website, the rest in stores and with work councils. It recycled 11 tons of rubber and 2 tons of cotton. Hubert Motte has set himself two priorities: doing better, especially by guarding against supply disruptions, and expanding the range of products by targeting other materials to be recovered, such as vehicle tires, fire hoses or climbing ropes.

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Enlisted in the show Who wants to be my partner? on the M6, the young man rejected the proposal of three investors willing to inject 60,000 euros into his capital. “I want to remain independent and true to the values ​​and mission I defend,” explains the man who is now paid 2,500 euros per month against 1,000 euros at the start of his adventure. “I manage my time as I wish and I give myself more than five weeks of vacation each year, rejoicing in this free spirit who” kiffes “his work. This life has enriched me so much. “I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met incredible people. And I feel like I’m in line.”

Eye of management

If loyalty moves along the lines, Hubert Motte upsets the mountains. We awarded the palm of the business creator to this smart man driven by his green and solidarity convictions. Proof that business can be compatible with ethics and joie de vivre.

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