Who ?

Windsriders ? Who are we ?

Windsriders is a very small company, born from a trip for two in Nepal, on the ridges of Langtang, towards the lakes Gosaikun.

This country is a real wonder, with incredible nature, and extraordinary mountains. People who inhabit Nepal are nice, welcoming. Poverty is unfortunately present, very visible in Kathmandu in particular.

Nathalie and I (Philippe) were seduced by the general atmosphere and the generosity of the people met. From these exchanges, from our privileged status as Europeans conscious of our luck, we have reflected on a way to help, within the limits of our means, the improvement of the daily lives of a few children.

From this reflection, was born Windsriders, with the establishment, manufacture, import and diffusion of jackets in pure down, 100% made in Nepal.

We are established in Thorame Haute, in Haute Provence, in a nice little mountain village, on the course of the Verdon, in the heart of a beautiful area, still protected.

Nathalie is a RAZED and CLISS specialist teacher. Currently, she divides her time between the different schools in our valleys, to help children with academic difficulties.
Philippe is a paragliding instructor, DEJEPS Parapente, a partner in Aérogliss, the paragliding school of Saint André les Alpes. Since 1994, he writes for Parapente-mag, realizing the tests of paragliders.

2011 First trip in Népal
February 2011

Trek in Langtang, Népal discovery

A shock. A magnificent discovery, of a country so beautiful, and so poor at once.
Kathmandu is an anthill, polluted and noisy, but with incredible neighborhoods.

We leave for the Gosaikund lakes by local buses. At the end of the valley, after 2 checks, begins the ascent to the sacred lakes. First warm-ups and first snow also.

Mars 2011

Back Home... How to help ?

Back from our beautiful walk, on the roof of a local bus overloaded, Nathalie and I evoke our desire to help. Our status as privileged Europeans (this is discussed, but on a purely material level, it is undeniable, if the material is essential, it is nonetheless an indispensable minimum), this feeling of immense discrepancy, but also of false values, are strained.
Can we simply remain thus, consumers even a little awake, without rendering, without sharing?

April 2011

Action... a bit under pressure...

We commit our meager savings in a bet. That of an ethical collaboration with a small Nepalese workshop, visited during our visit. In the small immediate suburb of Kathmandu, in a small house, we met a small team, working hand-craft, in a relaxed but studious atmosphere. They make good quality down jackets and we have specific ideas to make. Good listening, and first partnership.
The first arrival arrives in Nice. Anxiety about the discovery of everything: Customs, freight forwarding, merchandise compliant? And miracle. Yes, it works. Even if certain points of detail are perfectible, the essential is there. First sales, on the internet.

Still 2011...

Choosing who and how to help ...

The initial idea is to couple 2 actions:

1 - Make simple products, original and adapted to the Paragliding, by this workshop Nepalese, thus ensuring a more regular work.

2 - Set up a small sales platform (on the Internet to start), to balance our accounts and as soon as possible, pay back, depending on our revenues, financial assistance to a charity chosen on site for these actions. Our choice, after some wanderings, is on Thanaka. This Association manages two orphanages in Nepal, and seems to us of a "human" size. Our first contacts are really great.

2012 et suite

C'est parti...

Progressivement, tout se met en place, sans réelles grosses difficultés. Les vestes connaissent un franc succès de par leurs qualités, et aussi l'éthique attachée au projet. Nous sommes loin des tarifs des grosses marques, pour un rendu "chaleur / confort" excellent.
L'effet boule de neige fait le reste: Windsriders petit à petit creuse son nom dans les équipements parapente. Les écoles et boutiques adhérent largement et participent à la diffusion.

Et depuis...

L'aventure continue...

Déja 2016, et l'aventure continue, avec des joies, des frayeurs aussi. Joies dans les échanges: plusieurs voyages au Népal, et plusieurs visites de la maison d'enfant de Duwacot. Instants magiques de partage avec ces jeunes, enfants, adolescents aidés par Thanaka. Des étincelles dans les yeux, et une soif d'apprendre qui nous bouleversent à chaque visite.
Avril 2015 - Tremblement de terre catastrophique au Népal. Les maisons se fissurent, tombent, tuent des milliers de personnes. Nos pensées vont immédiatement vers la population et plus particulièrement vers les enfants. Ouf... Ils sont saufs mais "presque à la rue". Etat d'urgence et mesures d'aide impératives. Thanaka et ses membres assurent vraiment ! Aides sur place, et financières parent à l'essentiel. Nous envoyons ce que nous pouvons...

A ce jour, la situation est stabilisée, meilleure. Merci à tous, à vous qui lisez ces quelques mots, car c'est ensemble que l'aide s'organise.