What are your areas of work?
At first: experience. We created the first products with our own experience, and now we enrich it with our many clients who suggest improvements and even new products. At Raidlight, we listen to our customers in order to improve our products. For example, we are developing a rain cape on the basis of a product presented by a client. With the conception workshop on the Internet, we create a forum open to whoever want to participate in the design and development of our products. We put a kind of toolbox at their disposal to involve them in our product development.
Your second line of research?
It is more scientific. We work with the pole of competitiveness Sporaltec. Thus we could be tested by a score of "guinea pigs" different types of backpacks on the conveyor belts of the laboratory of physiology and pathophysiology of exercise and disability in Saint-Etienne. We sized up the oxygen consumption of the athletes, the heart beat, and the impact with the ground equipment. If there had been no Sporaltec, we would not have done these studies. We understood certain phenomenas, and we changed the product.
Do you attach importance to the design?
We thought for a long time that we were bad in design, because we thought the design was largely a matter of design. It was wrong. Because design is, at first, taking into account the needs of users, to understand the transcript in terms of ergonomics, usage, simplicity of operation.
Lightness, ergonomic and trick… Raidlight makes (as Mr Jourdain in Molière’s play) design without knowing it!
We understood when we talked our approach in the City of design in Saint-Etienne. Our product development philosophy is reflected in the phrase "user to user." In answering a specific need, a product is inherently sustainable. Witness the life of Raidlight products. With twelve products since the first catalog in 1999, ten are still available and are flagship models subsidized by time. Today we use to promptly designers refine especially external aesthetics and design of the technical bases produced internally.
Another trophy for innovation was awarded to the same product by Bref Rhône-Alpes, a regional letter of economic news.
Interview by V. Charbonnier - Freelance journalist