Giving a second life to wood waste

Made In Ressourcerie

France
Promoting wood re-use, artisan skills and employability

Made In Ressourcerie

Project leader
La Ressourcerie de l’Ile

Duration of the partnership
2017-2019

Location
France

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A Repair/Upcycling Workshop Providing Job Training

The “Made in Ressourcerie” workshop opened in 2016 to create a new high value-added business sector for recyclers, generating jobs, fostering social development and reducing waste inputs to the environment.

In concrete terms, 12 “artisan recyclers” receive 3 training courses in woodwork, upcycling and electrical certification and are then employed for six-month periods. By acquiring new craft skills, they are developing their employability.

Two differently styled collections will be introduced each year, featuring the artisanal and artistic work carried out on each piece of furniture and decorative object. The general public can learn about furniture upcycling at the opening events held for the collections.

The Beneficiaries

The workshop welcomes volunteer employees from the Ressourcerie de l’Ile. The employees have varied backgrounds and face particular difficulties in finding jobs. Most importantly, they all share a desire to work as artisans. The team is made up of 11 artisan recyclers with job training contracts. Over each 6-month session, 12 employees work on a rolling schedule so that there are always 3 people working simultaneously at the workshop, to encourage the transmission of know-how. Depending on the duration of their contract and their voluntary commitment, they may choose to participate in another session. On average 24 employees will benefit from the project per year. The employees are involved throughout the sessions in evaluating the potential of the furniture and selecting the pieces to be upcycled. The collections are designed by the employees, who also sell the items in the shops. Some employees go on to run “Do It Yourself” workshops at the Ressourcerie to pass on their knowledge to the public.

The Project Benefits

Artisan recycling is a growing job market in France. This line of work both creates new jobs and also builds confidence and self-esteem through more rewarding work that helps people develop marketable skills. Thanks to this new business model and the collective and individual empowerment of vulnerable jobseekers, it is easier for them to find sustainable, skilled employment. Finally, the furniture pieces are totally unique, with exquisite detailing and aesthetic appeal. The collections are designed and styled based on concepts developed collectively with a focus on furniture upcycling, artistic methods and artisan skills.

Project leader La Ressourcerie de l’Ile

La Ressourcerie de l'île has been developing in Nantes Métropole since 2004 and actively works to promote the recycling and reuse of everyday objects. The items collected, sorted and upcycled are then sold in two solidarity shops at affordable prices, one in Rezé at the recycling centre, and the other the mobile Util'o'Bus that goes to different locations in Nantes. The vocation of the Ressourcerie de l'île is to help change our consumption patterns by promoting the reuse of objects and thus develop a solidarity economy.