Image credit:
Nolan Miton

"Make sobriety the new cool!"

Julien Durant, CEO Picture Organic Clothing
We need your consent to enable the rating function!

This feature is only available when corresponding consent is given. Please read the details and accept the service to enable rating function.


In a world where overproduction and environmental pollution are the order of the day, Picture Organic Clothing is making a strong statement. "Make sobriety the new cool!" - with this provocative motto, CEO Julien Durant challenges the industry to seriously rethink its ecological footprint.

Julien Durant, Jérémy Rochette and Vincent André founded the Picture Organic Clothing™ label in 2008. As passionate skateboarders and snowboarders, they wanted to create an outdoor sports brand that invests in sustainability and continuous progress. What sets Picture apart is a strong and committed company culture that brings a modern and playful style to the often sober outdoor industry. The brand is also focused on preparing for the challenges posed by EU regulation and the goals of improving transparency.

We spoke to Julien Durant, who stands for modern management and the promise of a responsible employer brand. The CEO of Picture tells us about his career, the drive for entrepreneurship and the clear value proposition: Ride, Protect & Share.

What was your motivation to found Picture?

"Jérémy, Vincent and I share a love of skiing, mountains and the sea! And we had the dream of being able to make a living from our passion. All three of us were in Clermont-Ferrand and wanted to create something that didn't yet exist. At the time, Jérémy was an architect, his whole family came from the construction industry, and he worked as a site manager alongside his studies. Vincent was the youngest. When Picture was founded, he was just 19 years old. I had gone to business school and worked in product marketing in the food industry. All three of us were fans of collaborative and authentic brands like Volcom™ or Burton™. At that time, Patagonia™ was still a very engaged brand aimed at an older community than today.

So we created a board brand with products made from 100% organic and recycled materials and with a radical value proposition. Our CSR strategy was clear and visionary: if a product couldn't meet our criteria, we wouldn't make it. We felt the need and saw the necessity to get involved in the mountain sports action scene. This allowed us to stand out from the crowd."

What would you have done differently with today's knowledge?

"We wouldn't change much, because every step has brought us further. By making mistakes, you learn to rethink apparent certainties. We were able to develop further through "test and learn" and thanks to contacts with CEOs from the industry: Jean-Marc Pambet from Salomon, Douglas Tompkins from The North Face and Georges Pessey, the founder of the development studio Jonathan & Fletcher, were important encounters. There are more highs than lows, and the biggest challenge is people! For a company, a sense of belonging is of the utmost importance.

We are 100 people in the head office and our products are distributed in four countries with 2500 sales outlets. These are enormous challenges for HR, whether on a rational or emotional level. We have to invest a lot in team onboarding to anchor the employees in the corporate strategy. After the start, the B Corp™ certification was a step that brought a lot of structure for everyone. We have recently been certified again and have improved several points. Today, B Corp has become a second source of motivation for our vision and we continue to communicate this to our teams. Most of the challenges we face are systemic. Fortunately, we have been able to break out of some of the clichés of responsible business models."

Picture's headquarters near Clermont-Ferrand, designed by co-founder Jérémy Rochette.
Image credit:

Today, sustainability is no longer enough of a sales argument. How do you want to win new customers?

"It is clear that by 2030, brands that are not committed to the environment will be squeezed out, except perhaps at very low prices. To stay in the market, you have to separate CSR commitment and attractiveness. Attractiveness means that young people want to consume a certain brand in order to get the older generations to buy it as well. CSR is the action and progress of business models that are based less on volume and more on the processing of materials and products. Today, CSR means being avant-garde and having B2B legitimacy. We try to maintain this link by separating CSR and attractiveness. We are also working on new levers, such as offering products in segments that are not dependent on snow, like the hiking collection we are currently launching. The question we always ask ourselves is: how can we emphasize the brand's commitment right from the start? And we do this by working with all our stakeholders to develop a business model that reduces volume growth, accelerates circularity and stays close to people and nature - all for more economical and fairer consumption."

Picture is targeting new segments with its hiking collection.
Image credit:

It's in Picture's DNA to do less, but do it better. You achieve this by sourcing within a limited area and protecting resources. How do you manage to challenge your goals?

"Consumers everywhere are being put off by greenwashing. If we want to be recognized for our social and environmental responsibility, the background, the product and the communication message have to be right. Transparency is key here, and we need to be one step ahead for a clear commitment. At Picture, we discuss project challenges and how we can make progress. In terms of clear communication, we are sometimes a benchmark for transparency in the B2B OutDoor market.

We also often hear criticism about sourcing from distant countries, although certain business models do not allow for manufacturing in France. For example, we have wholesale distribution and are sold in several countries, which requires a cascade in terms of margins. We sell very little via D2C. Our sustainable price-performance ratio is based on our international business model, localized sourcing and local production, physical durability and use/maintenance of our items.

In addition, we should only compare what is comparable: according to our Scope 3 carbon footprint, only 1.5 percent of our model's CO2 emissions are transportation-related. What also counts are the social aspects. For this reason, we joined forces with the Fair Wear Foundation at a very early stage. The work behind the scenes in advance is crucial here: above all, we try to observe the same values everywhere globally in order to avoid and regulate overproduction."

What trends and challenges do you see for the outdoor industry?

"We differentiate between two worlds: On the one hand, the arrogant, performance-oriented outdoor, and on the other, the playful outdoor with a board culture that is not taken too seriously. The playful outdoor is our DNA: action sports in the outdoor sector. We want to strengthen our communication about these unconventional sides and dedicate ourselves to making outdoor products that fit.

At Picture, we are committed to the community aspect. Making a brand desirable is more difficult when you make colorful and playful technical products. We first have to bring our consumers into our community through different actions.

Playing with the quality moment is not an achievement in itself. We need to offer high-performance but not hyper-performance product ranges, as this is not our differentiator and is not expected of us. Our customers follow us because of our accessible and playful dimension. For our part, we try to spread the message: Make Sobriety the new cool - Make sobriety the new cool and make it a cultural norm."

As a committed and innovative brand, you have decided to invest in alternative business models, such as rental or circularity. What is behind the 5R program and what are the main benefits of this strategy?

"5R stands for Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rent, Recycle and the program has been in place for a year."



"This is done in two phases. The first is the direct and factual reduction of the CO2 footprint with a CO2 strategy around the products. The same applies to chemicals and refinements. Our goal is to have 100% of our products subject to RSL (Restricted Substances List) monitoring with laboratory test procedures by 2030. The second phase is to promote the reduction of consumption by maximizing product versatility. Today, from a general B2B perspective, a product has only one use and this must change. Hence the message 'Make sobriety the new cool' as a guiding principle internally too."



"By offering second-hand products in collaboration with Everide, we provide an alternative to buying new and a contact point for private individuals."



"The aim is to extend the service life of a product. For three years now, we have been offering a retroactive repair guarantee for technical products, including surf suits. We sell 85 percent of our technical products. Of the repairs, 98 percent involve problems with zippers and sliders as well as tears caused by use."



"We have been offering rental since 2020. According to a future study by Google, by 2050 we will find ourselves in an economy of use and not of products. We are thinking about a bundle strategy, for example. In other words, product groups for a very specific purpose to make the offering more desirable, because there is a need to steer consumers."



"We have 85% synthetic material in our purchases, which is recycled after use. We offer reusable packaging and are testing further developments and innovations. We are taking the issue into our own hands."

The 5R program is intended to lead Picture into a more sustainable future.
Image credit:
Antoine Schmidt

Pictures is also involved in "En Mode climat", which makes strong demands on the industry, such as the statement that there is no such thing as CO2 neutrality. What are you doing to reduce CO2?

"Florian Palluel, our Sustainable Development Officer, makes sure that our teams commit to deadlines - for collective success. Initially, I was reluctant to get involved with organizations because I think it's often just about soothing your conscience. I prefer concrete measures. Then Florian told me about En Mode Climat. The association of fashion brands acts as a coalition with working groups and is committed to responsible lobbying and combating environmental impact through legislative changes. We contribute by giving Florian time off, funded by Picture, to take part in tangible actions. Together with En Mode Climat's HR and recruitment teams, he is investing his time to change the rules of the game for the industry. Their aim is to attract major brands and incorporate new parameters for longevity, even if they are not mandatory from a political point of view. And it comes up with valuable proposals in terms of reducing the carbon footprint."

Why is a brand like Picture, which already has a strong focus on sustainability, participating in the Convention of Businesses for Climate Protection, which promotes the idea of regenerative businesses?

"The regenerative business gives back more than what it consumes. Our brand will never have a regenerative business model because we consume something and produce an item. We participate as a contributing company, not as a regenerative one in the sense of regenerative agriculture, for example. We implement certain aspects of responsible value creation. In the textile sector, this is limited and not yet fully developed, as technology and innovation have yet to initiate these projects. The CEC program(Convention des Entreprises pour le Climat) validates us and has enabled us to preserve our values without making disproportionate demands on natural resources.

This allows us to work on our vision for 2030 and engage with an ecosystem of very diverse companies. On our side, the roadmap is focused on the supply chain. Florian Palluel is in charge of implementation and working more closely on governance. This concerns long-term profit generation, the HR strategy for multiple sites, the relationships of the teams internally, etc."

"Our levers for this roadmap up to 2030 are:

  • Further develop use and products.
  • Influence practices in the market.
  • Restructure management and prepare HR to transform the industry in all areas of the company.
  • Consider planetary boundaries to better understand our impact on water and biodiversity."

What do you think are currently the biggest challenges for the outdoor industry? How will Picture develop between now and 2030?

"We would like to see Pictures' commitment go hand in hand with the emergence of EU regulations that promote lower clothing consumption. There would be many frugal practices that have become the cultural and economic norm. For 2030, we will partly focus on a market with reasonable ambitions and integrate a business model that is not based on volume. Or more services such as maintenance or repair, e.g. re-impregnation of outdoor products. We want these practices of second-hand consumption to become an integral part of our sales. I would also like to see Bcorp recertification beyond the 120 points."

Picture offers a lifetime repair guarantee for its products.
Image credit:

France will host the 2024 Summer Olympics and probably also the 2030 Winter Games. What does that mean for Picture?

"We are interested in the Olympic Games, but not from a business perspective, as we are not concerned with pure performance. What concerns us are the sports venues. We have been involved in the Outdoor Sports Valley grandstand, which requires the Olympics to respect the boundaries of the planet. Whether in the local area or the local stadium, the challenge is to make these great competition venues sustainable. It is a global event that democratizes sport. We must support it without forgetting the consequences - both financial and environmental. That's why we need to preserve the venues."

One platform for all channels & the best customer experience. Take your sports retail to the next level with Unzer.