La Seyne-sur-Mer – France
« LA FABRIQUE »
THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE
In 2016, the Emmaus Var community created a new workshop, La Fabrique, with the aim of showing off companions’ skills and creativity, and offering them training through upcycling donated furniture and objects.
How did this project come about and why?
The situation in the group:
– Companions with skills, knowledge and creativity;
– The success of traditional furniture created by Bob from recovered materials over 20 years of sales;
– Declining quality of furniture collected, too much furniture being scrapped;
– Public interest in hand-made objects from recovered materials and unique pieces.
We want to:
– offer training for companions;
– have a ‘window’ into our community and change certain attitudes towards Emmaus;
– provide a gateway to our association;
– be more visible on a local level.
THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE
We work with two types of furniture:
– Damaged furniture to be restored or restyled;
– Unique pieces made from recovered wood and steel.
Using three different skills:
These creations are displayed and sold within a dedicated area.
We display them with lots of other objects (e.g. decorative, clothing, electrical goods) that help to showcase the companions’ creations.
WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?
This is a group project – everyone contributes by coming up with ideas and helping to sort objects and clothing, as well as materials that could be used to decorate the room or create furniture.
WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?
“I’ve always liked working with wood. La Fabrique is really inspiring – it’s a challenge to have to offer new things to customers. And it’s great to get so many compliments on our work. But, as I always say, it’s not just my work – it’s the whole community’s.” Ababacar
At first, only two companions, Ababacar and Bob, worked producing furniture at La Fabrique. Other companions were trained later on, and today we have five companions that can work there.
La Fabrique attracts new customers who come from all over France. While they are attracted by our companions’ creations, they quickly move onto looking at other stands which is why we’ve kept it all in one place. Visitors are sometimes surprised by the quality and creativity of the furniture on offer. It seems that customers treat companions and their work with more respect since the opening of La Fabrique.
La Fabrique has also provided an opportunity for greater interaction with local actors such as artists and associations.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE?
WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS?
The action is already sustainable within our community. Offering training to other communities would be a way for it to develop.