Extramuros launches its first Chants Libres furniture lines

A panel that met in mid-October selected the first furniture that Extramuros, supported by the Veolia Foundation, will start making. This is the first step of an ambitious project to create a pilot sector dedicated to upcycling and open to back-to-work jobs.

Extramuros is a back-to-work association specialized in upcycling which has developed strong expertise in woodwork by making upscale office furniture. The company uses the furniture waste of professionals to design new furniture which is both aesthetic and ecologically manufactured.

With the support of the Veolia Foundation, Extramuros has embarked on an ambitious project to participate in the structuring of a pilot sector dedicated to upcycling and open to back-to-work jobs. This program, called Chants Libres, is based on the study of supply routes to recover the materials needed to manufacture furniture and create prototypes. A panel, composed of representatives of Veolia, Valdelia, the sector's eco-organisation, and Kinnarps, European leader in office furniture, met mid-October to select the first furniture lines. It selected two tables respectively called "Chaos" and "Barricades".

Technical plans and assemblies are planned to standardize production and allow prototypes and small series to be manufactured for a full-scale production test. The two tables will then be included in Kinnarps's catalogue to be available for purchase by the greatest number.
The association has created four back-to-work jobs and a new supervisor position for this project. If ten similar structures are created over the next five years, 85 jobs could be created, 75% of which would be back-to-work jobs. This is a project for the future, situated between smart recycling and the promise of a return to work for some.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is the action of recycling "upwards". In other words, adding value to materials and waste. Unlike re-use, which inherently puts the object and the material back into the circuit without changing its purpose (a table stays a table, a desk stays a desk), upcycling involves work to recover materials or products that are no longer used and convert them into products of superior quality or utility. This work includes major creation, design, and technical thinking work.