Jérôme Thuillier

As part of the blog "Conscious People" by Venitz, we interview the actors of the green transition to find out more about the behind their commitments. Today, here is the story of Jérôme Thuillier.

Hello everyone, I'm Jérôme Thuillier, Brand Director at Clae, the minimalist sneaker brand from Los Angeles, I'm in charge of product management and marketing.

Today, I dedicate a large part of my daily life to ensuring that all our actions are in line with our history and our vision of a responsible brand. The subject is quite vast for a brand that is already 20 years old, making each day quite different from the previous one but it ranges from the choice of our materials, the choice of our production partners, transport, product development, to certifications.

My eco-responsible commitment, I owe it to a trigger, an awareness: as a teenager in the 90s, I grew up collecting sneakers, records, accumulating things that seemed to me, at the time , important to have. Then various moves made me realize that what I considered treasure was in fact a burden, that my life would not be any less substantial without these objects. It took me 20 years to accumulate and one day to get rid of it. And it forever transformed the way I consume. I like each purchase to be thought out and valued, do I really need it?

I still have a deep passion for vintage, both for vehicles and for furniture, these design pieces which have marked history, of a quality much higher than today's standards, designed to last 100 years. Paring down my possessions for essential pieces has been real therapy.

The discovery of the film “Less Is Now” by The Minimalists was more of a confirmation that what I once thought was a temporary feeling of boredom was in fact a real realization and that I was not alone.

The Game Changer was also very inspiring, showing that some athletes made the choice to no longer eat meat and their performance was not impacted in any way. I made this choice 3 years ago, mainly to limit my ecological footprint.

These personal approaches have also clearly inspired my direction for the CLAE brand, favoring partnerships with companies, stores, artisans who have the same vision. We have notably partnered with SEAQUAL, which is responsible for recovering plastic waste from the oceans to transform it into a fiber that we use to produce sneakers. Isa Tantec, this tannery which uses renewable energies to produce our leathers, and replaces our organic cottons with hemp and thus considerably reduces our water consumption.

This season we changed our insoles for a 100% recycled sole, this small change, invisible to our customers, allows us to save nearly 10 tonnes of synthetic materials per year... I am proud of what we accomplish on our scale, with the desire to do more every day.

The way I perceive the world around me and the way I interact with others has been strongly influenced by Los Angeles, it was a discovery that surely changed my life, a city where I had the opportunity to go a lot and live there for several months a year. This city represents for me the border between what inspires me the most (the surrounding nature, an aesthetic, a unique vibe and energy) but also a rather brutal reflection of our world which we describe as "modern", overconsumption , social exclusion…. My ambition is to be part of this movement of people who want to change things, we can have different actions and sensitivities, but the most important thing is to move forward together in the same direction to define the world in which we want to live and our future is not on Mars.

Since we're focusing on Los Angeles, let me tell you an anecdote: I'm a fan of the Mid Century aesthetic and the Sheats-Goldsein house, designed by John Lautner, is surely the most emblematic of this era. It is known for having been the house in The Big Lebowski, an impressive number of TV commercials and will be bequeathed to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)... I boldly contacted the current owner and told him that I dreamed of shoot a CLAE campaign in this unique location and that of course as a confidential brand, we did not have the budget for such an ambition... My enthusiasm, our initiatives, our aesthetic must have convinced him because shortly after we realized in this place can be one of the most beautiful lookbooks of our existence… That’s also THE…

I like to think that the desire to support noble causes is contagious. So if I had to give advice to those who haven't yet taken the plunge:

Remember the movie Super Size Me? The one where a journalist eats morning and evening at McDonald's and accepts the Super Size formula every time it is offered to him. His state of health deteriorates as the film progresses... Mc Donald withdrew the Super Size formula after the release of this film, a formula which went against any reasonable quantity for a human being.

I challenged myself a few years ago to never buy a takeaway formula that included a drink in the form of a can or plastic bottle, not only for nutritional reasons but also to limit my consumption of individual packaging... “Would you like Do you have the formula including dessert and drink? " " No thanks… "

Changing the way you consume is like quitting smoking, you realize that what may seem complicated for a few minutes, days, weeks is in fact a freedom won forever.

However, adopting a more ethical and responsible lifestyle is not a linear process;

I am passionate (those around me will say that it is an obsession) by old cars, I do not accumulate but I own one. This vehicle is not ecological, and all these steps are perhaps a way of compensating for me and preserving this passion.

Find our selection on our website: Clae


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