Cyril Neves, le génial fondateur des Petits Bidons

Cyril Neves, the brilliant founder of Petits Bidons

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It has become a habit in recent years: each time the feverish time of the January sales comes, the Hast team launches an operation where it is about taking care of yourself and your clothes rather than buying them. anything goes. What's important is to cherish your pieces and make sure they last, sometimes for a lifetime. This time, we therefore chose to partner with the Les Petits Bidons brand. A young Parisian brand which is successfully developing a range of natural detergents, that is to say purged of the usual supermarket chemical derivatives, which has the good taste of not turning our rags into things that scratch the body and pill in an instant . The deal: for an order on our site of at least one hundred euros, a one-liter bottle of Petits Bidons, with Rosemary, is offered to you.

The premises of Petits Bidons are located somewhere in a row of offices located not far from Place de la République in Paris. A nursery crossed by spiral staircases where a thousand ideas per minute are churned out in box-shaped rooms. An enthusiastic hive, full of desire and life. On the top floor of this strange place there is a high glass roof from which some remains of Christmas decorations tumble. It is here that Cyril Neves, 32 years old and founder of Petits Bidons, receives with a winking smile.

What is your relationship with clothing?

Let's say it's important. It's the first impression you leave on people. I am aware that my appearance puts me in a situation, that it prepares my interlocutors for the interaction that we are going to have, whether professional or personal for that matter. I am quite vigilant about this, even if there have already been big failures. For a long time, I had a very conformist style, as if I wanted to drown in the crowd. I also had a period where I wore tight pants. Fortunately, I came back! Over time, I became more comfortable, with a more assertive style.

I'm not necessarily going to look for the fashionable piece, the one that will look good every time. I rather like to wear things that correspond to my state of mind at the moment.

How would you describe your style?

In truth, it's quite simple! Jeans , sneakers and a t-shirt over which I put a shirt when it's a little colder. In my closet I have lots of basics and floral shirts for summer. I find it nice to have a few pieces that twist the style, that create a difference. I sometimes hunt for vintage clothes when I go on a trip. I have shirts with big designs printed on them. I have one with a very present lemon, for example. I also have an old mechanic's outfit that I use as an overshirt. But I don't go on big extravagant outings.

Does your look change when it comes to being in a work setting?

I worked for a long time in marketing and sales at L'Oréal and Danone, areas where clothing is very codified and marked. Many of my colleagues were in suits every day. This uniform was driving me crazy. I found this outfit uninteresting in terms of what value we must bring to the job. It's supposed to provide a certain credibility but ultimately, it's nothing more than pointless conformism. I've always tried to break away from that look. At the time, I came to the office in jeans and sneakers and people made comments about it. Today, I still show up like that. I will never mind going on dates in a t-shirt, without a jacket. I don't even ask myself the question. I just have to be elegant this way, with solid, homogeneous tones. It's simple and it's not too catchy. I really prefer that people pay attention to what I say and the messages I want to convey rather than people noticing my clothes. I don't wear floral shirts to work, for example.

How do you care for your clothes?

I am lucky to have always had a washing machine at home. I only go to a dry cleaner when I need to wash a suit for a wedding. The rest I take care of. Certainly because in my closet I don't have any room that requires special care. I also pay attention to buying clothes that are easy to maintain. For reasons of simplicity but also of cost. I very rarely wash my jeans and I try to air out my sweaters well, for example. I never washed my clothes too much, basically. It's important not to waste water for nothing. For each wash, you must pay attention to the dose of detergent you use. If there is not enough, we lose efficiency. If you use too much, when rinsing, it will not drain completely well, and there may be residue on the clothes which can cause skin reactions or damage to the clothing. Temperature is also important. For a question of efficiency, but also of energy consumption. The lower you wash at a lower temperature, the less energy you consume. With Les Petits Bidons, we are trying to develop detergents that can remain effective at low temperatures.

How did you become interested in these laundry stories?

My former jobs allowed me to train in the ecological issues of food and cosmetics. I was interested in the compositions of different products and their impacts on health and the environment. Little by little, I also started trying to develop a homemade detergent. I simply looked for recipes on the Internet. Mixtures with flakes of Marseille soap or black soap, white vinegar which has the effect of a softener, and water, which are cooked in a pan to obtain a more or less dubious texture. I tested several types of recipes, there were several hiccups. At the same time, I became interested in the ingredients of traditional, commercial laundry detergents, and I realized that they were not that easy to identify. Probably because they're not very good. I found it crazy that there wasn't something really clean and efficient to use. I ended up approaching laboratories by giving them precise specifications and we developed recipes together.

It's not normal that after three weeks in a closet, an item of clothing still smells strongly of laundry detergent.

The Petits Bidons approach highlights in particular the importance of the relationship with the skin. For what ?

Saying that a detergent is natural does not mean that it has no impact on the skin. The formula bases generally used in laundry detergents are allergenic. Because of petroleum derivatives found in soap. It was therefore necessary to develop a formula that could be used on sensitive skin. Pay attention to dermatological control, as they say. We have therefore removed these derivatives and these molecules from our formulas. And then we wanted to work with natural perfumes. Not synthetic perfumes like there are in traditional detergents.

You explain in this respect that “clean has no odor”. What do you mean ?

The customer is conditioned in a marketing way. We always tell ourselves that for our clothes to be clean, they must smell of sea breeze or something like that for a long time. We are trying to combat this idea. It's not normal that after three weeks in a closet, an item of clothing still smells strongly of laundry detergent. This means that there is something left in it and, in this case, that the clothing can potentially attack the skin. We work with natural perfumes, which are more volatile, which fade quickly, but which do not affect the clothing or the skin.

Furthermore, your detergents do not contain palm oil while this is the case with most other brands…

Palm oil is found in all detergent products. It is chosen for reasons of cost and ease of use. And it's a real problem: it's a production that causes the deforestation of entire territories, particularly in Africa. We have therefore taken the step of developing our products without palm oil. It's very complicated and more expensive. We use a base of sunflower oil and also olive oil.

How do you avoid putting your shirts in danger when washing them in the machine?

In truth, there is no risk. Simply, you must wash shirts of the same color, at the temperature recommended on the labels. In these cases, nothing will happen. You should not wash a wool shirt at 50 degrees!

Finally, why did you choose to collaborate with Hast?

For some time now, I have been paying attention to the fair approaches of a series of French clothing brands, with good sourcing and pricing ideas. In a way, with Les Petits Bidons, I wanted to take over the rest of the life of the garment. Brands create good saps and Les Petits Bidons ensures that their maintenance is clean and natural. When Hast approached us to think about a collaboration, I jumped at the chance.