Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Tristan Lecomte

It's an interdependent world we live in, and the work of Tristan Lecomte, 36, is the definition of interdependence. He has put into business common sense, which in business can be the least common of senses.

In 1998 he founded Alter Eco, a company that imports and distributes fair-trade products in France. These days he works directly with 40 cooperatives from 30 different countries and sells products worldwide.

But Lecomte does more; he includes the environment in his formula, as a third party that needs to be a beneficiary of all business transactions. The result is a business that becomes healthy and long-lasting.

It hasn't been easy for him: the U.S., France and other European countries have high subsidies and tariffs. But he has managed to challenge the economic model by establishing a profitable company — and a new paradigm for global businesses.

García Bernal is an actor and activist

TIME 100 Social-Networking Index: 249