CES 2021 - Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 7+ 2-in-1 PC and the deployment of its 85 ″ Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Pro 7+, a 2-in-1 laptop PC for business and education, which benefits from some improvements over version 7. The Surface Hub 2S digital board will ship in February. Rumors are rife that a Surface Pro 8 will be released soon. To be patient and to satisfy professionals, Microsoft unveils its Surface Pro 7+, a revised version of the Surface Pro 7 promised as more efficient.    Among the major evolutions of this new model, we note first of all the passage of the Intel Core processors from the 10th to the 11th generation. Storage will still be capped at 1TB, but a maximum of 32GB of RAM can now be installed, down from just 16GB previously. The SSD will also be removable and a Full HD webcam integrated into the Surface.  4G is now supported with a SIM card slot and eSIM support. Plus, battery life gets a big boost, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm - on paper anyway - with a fast charge to 80% in an hour. The Surface 7 Pro +

It’s possible to make eco-friendly Jeans

Who said that textiles are not a sector of the future? Contrary to the pattern of fast fashion, whose objective is to produce always cheaper and to sell always more, Thomas Huriez had the absurd idea of ​​making jeans ... in France! By founding his 1083 brand, he did not just set up his workshops in France, but went to look for local suppliers, thus restoring an industrial and ecological sector. He talks about his entrepreneurial adventure and explains how to produce locally and otherwise.

eco-friendly Jeans

What is the motivation which, in a France in full deindustrialisation, pushes you to want to revive a disappeared French sector?

The primary motivation was envy. I was an IT manager who was bored at work. I started by opening an ethical fashion store, it started well, but after a few years my suppliers closed!

I decided to manufacture for my own brand. At first, socks, t-shirts. But it lacked a "soul" to all this, an irrational part that makes the mark. Take Décathlon, they make sports shoes for example, but they have declined them into a brand for soccer players, one for cyclists, one for tennis players… In fashion, music, sport… we're all cheesy. someone: there are few universal products capable of reaching all customers. When I understood that, I looked for a product that brings together, that has origins in France and on which we could do a more ecological work, and I arrived on jeans.

Why in Romans-sur-Isère, a territory considered to be economically downgraded? You seem to be saying, there is never a definitively downgraded territory ...

I did not choose to settle there because it was a territory considered to be downgraded! The choice is based on personal factors - a family home I didn't want to sell - and it's a city very connected to the rest of the country, which makes work easy. It was once the capital of footwear, with a pool of employment very specialized in this sector and which experienced a slow agony of 25-30 years, the coup de grace coming with the closure of Charles Jourdan in 2008. But this territory retained a strong industrial identity, it was enough to reset the starter for it to start again, which I did not suspect. The fire was out, but the embers were there. We had to give air back to the territory.

As such, we quickly became a symbol for consumers outside of Romans, because we are the counterexample: we can start a territory considered in decline. Finally, our desire to relaunch the activity with an ethical product, while jeans are very polluting clothing to produce, has also helped us to mobilize a community of support that has contributed to the development of the business.

But it was a crazy project, nobody was making jeans in France anymore!

Fortunately I underestimated the difficulty, otherwise I don't know if I would have started! I needed a jeans maker and a denim fabric weaver, which I couldn't find in France. The maker, I started looking for it on Google when, if there was one, it was, at best, in the yellow pages ... It failed ... before the fluke. I have always spoken to everyone freely about my project, I have never been afraid of getting my idea taken. By dint of protecting ourselves, we put on a helmet, a shield and armor, but we advance at two an hour. I'm naked, but I'm light, I can move faster.

A friend who plays sports with me tells me about a traveling salesman who makes his own products, made in France, reserved for farmers. It is through him that I get the contact of two brothers, Edouard and Aram Birgin, settled in Marseille. They depended on a large customer who relocated their production, which destroyed their business. One of the brothers has converted to quality control of imported products. The other continued to build prototypes and maintain his sewing machines, for nothing, it made no sense, but the equipment was there. I had found my tailors!

For dyeing, weaving and finishing, I met a weaver from the Loire and another from the Vosges who trusted me. But at least 100 jeans had to be made to make it worth it. I launched a crowdfunding campaign and we had 1,000 orders! We made 200,000 euros in turnover in 2013 and we are now at 8 million, we employ 70 people directly and 150 with subcontractors.

Today, how much of the jeans are made in France?

Making jeans involves eight steps: growing cotton, spinning, dyeing, weaving, finishing, cutting, making and washing. Of these eight stages, we have relocated seven. Sometimes with some exceptions in spinning and dyeing, where we go to the Italian or Spanish border when we are short of material. Our jeans are 90% dyed and spun in France and everything else is 100% French.

In addition, we have tons of jeans in our garbage cans which we do nothing about. We can remake - in part - new pants with. The challenge for us is there: to develop a circular economy and thus make France a country of production of the raw material, it is an important source of reindustrialisation of the country.

We hear that the cost of working in France is too high and should have made your project impossible.

The trigger came in a store, the day I realized that branded jeans sold for 100 euros and one for fast fashion at 30 euros had been made in the same place. The difference between the two came from distribution: intermediaries are more numerous and greedy in the case of big brands with famous names.

In Romans, during the Thirty Glorious Years, families used a small capital to produce under their name, for example the Charles Jourdan shoes. Brand and manufacturer were integrated, then they sold to distributors who sold to customers. To be profitable, the sale price had to be three to four times higher than the cost price.

When its founders retired from the 1970s and sold, new investors abandoned manufacturing and cut costs by outsourcing. The selling prices have increased to ten or twelve times the cost price! From the 2000s, Système U, Leclerc, etc. reacted by manufacturing under their own brand and making do with margins of three to four. I applied the same strategy: to sell jeans 100 euros with a price around three times the cost price, I could not exceed 30-35 euros in costs. The surprise is that with this budget, I could relocate everything! In my case, the importance of labor cost competitiveness is marginal compared to the distribution model.

You started with equity funds, then banks and investment funds. What is your relationship to finance?

The investment funds are in a game logic. Instead of rationally calculating the risk and fixing their remuneration accordingly, which can be high, they make bets on companies which they seek to obtain the maximum to compensate, with unlimited gains, losses they suffer elsewhere. I'm for investors who moderate their income to cover their expenses, the cost of their raw material - money - and their risk, but not beyond.

If we keep to an infinite logic of maximizing the shares of the investment fund, the more the entrepreneur works, the more his business is worth, the less he is able to maintain control. Because the day the fund sells its share of capital to the highest bidder, the founder no longer has the means to buy it back. This finances companies, "short term".

How did 1083 solve the problem?

1083 convinced investment funds to limit their capital gains to a multiple of two. They agree not to value their shares more than twice. They will earn money but under duress.

The BPI, regrettably, is still in player mode. It should come out of the culture of shortfall, of "I could earn even more" because, while the State is doing everything to develop mid-caps, when it sells its shares, it will do so at the best bid, which does not may not be tricolor. I find it unfortunate, even naive, to take the risk of letting French SMEs become foreign mid-caps with French money. It doesn't make sense and we give the keys to get robbed.

You refuse the sales and Black Friday, why?

Black Friday, like permanent sales, makes no commercial sense. It’s the least intelligent way to trade, it’s just the huge inventory that brands have to build to meet demand, because they produce far away and therefore have long delivery times. This prompted them to overproduce a huge amount of textiles that they were not wearing. The sales to sell seasonal products is normal. But the rest is an encouragement to the mess.

At 1083, production sticks to sales. When demand increases, we do not increase stocks, we increase production and we sell at the price that allows the business to live. We don't need sales or Black Friday. By the way, consumers are beginning to understand that if they are sold 11 months of the year for a 160 euros shirt when it is worth 90, they are having 11 months out of 12!

Looks like everyone is making green clothes now?

Yes, everyone makes green clothing! The big brands do not do it by vocation, otherwise they would have done it from the start. But in their place,

would we have produced otherwise? We must thank the consumers, who are forcing the actors to review their production methods. But, as it is long and difficult, it starts with communication, greenwashing. Communication feeds consumer demand for transformation, and that's good.

Ecological practices must develop. 1083 sells 40,000 jeans out of an annual volume of 89 million in France. We have the solutions and not the volumes, the large producers have the volumes and not the solutions. The faster we run, the more brands are led to change their production chains, the more they get involved, the more we gain credibility. And the more it has a positive impact on the world. We are as open as they are uncompromising to help big brands change the fashion world with us.

In ecological matters, you launched the "consigned jeans", what is it?

Until brands have responsibility for the life cycle of their products, they will not seek to make them recyclable. We believe this evolution to be inevitable, so we might as well be the spearhead. There are few infinitely recyclable textiles. Cotton has its limits, on the contrary, polyester is like water and ice, it can be transformed from one state to another in both directions.

We have created 100% polyester jeans - fabric, sewing thread, buttons - fully recyclable. To recover it, we apply the deposit principle: it is worth 99 euros, plus 20 euros deposit, reimbursed at the time of reshipment, shipping costs included. Since there is no polyester recycling capacity in France, we found a Spanish company. The pants must be delivered to them in one-ton lot, or 2,500 jeans. We have already sold 1,000 per subscription. Jeans last a long time, it will take a few years for the first shipment! But the revolution is launched.