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THE FOUNDATION

To marks its 120th anniversary, J.M Weston has set up
the foundation d'entreprise J.M. WESTON for the promotion
of craft manual work and the transmission of exceptional
know-how in France.

«Artisanal know-how involves a set of exceptional skills that enable the craftsman to offer unique products of unequalled quality. I am very happy that the Fondation J.M. Weston will promote this know-how and ensure its training and its transmission to new generations, in partnership with an association as representative as the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France.»

Christopher Descours, President of J.M. Weston.

J.M. WESTON FOUNDATION AWARDS

DEFI INNOVER ENSEMBLE

Devised by the Compagnons du Devoir and supported exclusively by the Foundation, this project takes the form of a challenge (défi) or competition whose aim is to encourage and organise the networking of skills and dialogue between young designers, students of management schools and apprentice craftsmen-prototypists.

In the framework of this Challenge, a team consisting of two designers, two managers and two craftsmen-prototypists from the Compagnons du Devoir specializing in soft materials must carry through a project showcasing exceptional know-how and creativity.

ABOUT THE COMPAGNONS DU DEVOIR
ET DU TOUR DE FRANCE

The state–approved organisation of craftsmen and artisans called the Association Ouvrière des Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France brings together professional men and women mobilised to promote the same professional ideal. The Compagnons du Devoir undertake programs to provide information, career guidance and forward planning on skilled manual professions. 10,000 young people are trained in the framework of post–secondary work and training programmes during their Tour de France apprenticeship (which of course has nothing to do with the celebrated race!). With 27 professions, the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France are active in four main sectors: construction, industry, soft materials and baking–pastry making. The Compagnon organisation is inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of the world Intangible Cultural Heritage.

PROMOTING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE GAINED ABROAD


J.M. Weston wishes to offer young people the same opportunity for professional discovery and enrichment that was given to Eugène Blanchard, the son of the founder of the Manufacture de Limoges, who travelled to Weston in the United States in 1904 to complete his apprenticeship. There he learned the emerging technique of the Goodyear welt (or stitch), which was to become a few years later the emblematic welt of J.M. Weston.

So this second project consists of promoting among young people a professional, human and cultural experience outside of France, accompanying them in their travel project and obtaining recognition for their international experience and the skills acquired. It has two facets : • raising awareness among young people and encouraging them to open up to their professional world at international level during a field trip lasting one month. • accompanying two young people in the « soft materials » section during their journeyman circuit – their Tour de France – to enable them to gain professional experience of at least one year abroad.

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