‘Les Resilientes’: design, integration and recovery

Posted on 24 September 2019.

Dirty clothes, broken trinkets, damaged furniture... Some of the many donations collected by the Emmaüs associations just can’t be sold but are saved for a new life by Les Resilientes.

Born out of the integration project run by the association Emmaüs Alternatives in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, the Les Résilientes project combines design with work and social integration and upcycling - fully in keeping with the mission of the movement Abbé Pierre launched way back in 1949.
Convinced that creativity acts positively on confidence and self-esteem and can leverage people back into work, designer Eugénie de Larivière had the idea of setting up her design studio in a work integration project.
She turned to the Emmaüs Alternatives association, whose mission is to welcome and support people in socially precarious situations. Together they launched the Les Resilientes design and work integration studio in January 2017.
Les Resilientes has a team of people "in transition" – some are employees in the process of reintegration, some are volunteers who are retraining, some are new retirees, etc.
The idea is to co-create collections of objects using the donations made to the Emmaüs Alternatives Association that can’t be sold or redistributed as they are.

Circular economy and inventiveness

Once collected, these materials are sorted before becoming the raw materials for colorful and fun upcycled contemporary design objects.
Old cashmere sweaters become hand embroidered cushions or dry hot water bottles, books for recycling turn into modular side tables, textile offcuts are reborn as beautiful carpets and hangings, metal hangers become animal-shaped hooks... The circular economy and inventiveness work together hand in hand!
Les Résilientes' collections produce items in series, but every piece is unique because the raw materials are unique. They are sold through the Emmaüs online shop and L’Alternative in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement.