Through its Foundation, Maisons du Monde has been committed to Emmaus since 2016 with a view to encouraging the circular economy and making it a lever for supporting the long-term unemployed. This partnership is materialised by support for two key Emmaus projects: Recréateurs du Bois and the Emmaus Trophées du Réemploi Awards.
Furthermore, Maisons du Monde is a partner of the Banque Solidaire de l’Équipement d’Emmaüs Défi, via the donation of new products that enable the equipping of permanent housing for people in difficulty. All these partnerships make Maisons du Monde the leading national partner of the Emmaus movement.
The Maisons du Monde Foundation wants to support the social and solidarity-based economy, a breeding ground for jobs and creation, in order to create value for wood material: it is one of its main themes alongside forest preservation.
Every year, it organises a call for projects among associations with a view to providing support for them. In 2018, it selected “Recréateurs Workshop”, launched by Emmaüs Défi, a social innovation laboratory and a workshop that encourages integration through economic activity. Supported since 2017, the “Recréateurs du Bois” project provides support for employees following a professional integration process in their work repairing wooden furniture. Every year, the Recréateurs workshop trains five employees whose creations are sold at one of the association’s two stores: a project which favours creation and self-respect.
The close relationship between the two structures continued in 2018 with the creation of the Trophées Emmaüs du Réemploi Awards, a competition internal to the Emmaus movement based on creation and up-cycling in order to encourage the creativity of the craftsmen supported by the Maisons du Monde Foundation. By making recycling one of its main activities, the movement created by Abbé Pierre has always been one of the pioneers of the circular and solidarity-based economy.
Thus, the Trophées du Réemploi Awards are a great opportunity to shine a light on the work of the people supported by the Emmaus movement, who, thanks to upcycling techniques, offer objects originally destined for waste to be given a new lease of life, and also promote their creativity and technical expertise. A competition which promotes creation as a vector of social and professional integration and which, once again, shows the commitment of Emmaus to a more responsible society.
Emmaus structures could apply up until June 2018. In total, 18 items of furniture were proposed by the candidates, from which the six finalist projects were selected on the basis of technical skill, aesthetics, creativity and the social and environmental approach. Thanks to the financial support of the Maisons du Monde Foundation, these six finalist creations were transported to Paris in order to be photographed.
Thus, Emmaus requested a public vote on social media in September: almost 10,000 web users voted for their favourite item of furniture. The final jury, comprising members of Emmaus France, Eco-mobilier and the Maisons du Monde Foundation, met on 25 September 2018.
The winning product is a desk which has the specific feature of reusing furniture waste from building and civil engineering works, a very polluting sector. This prototype, which is easy to produce industrially, reuses window frames to form the unit’s legs. It was produced in more than 90 examples and has furnished Emmaus housing.
On 24 January, at the Maisons du Monde warehouses in Marseille, the winning team and the Maisons du Monde cabinet-making team (in-house repair workshop) discussed their practices for recycling products and materials. On the occasion, the Chantiers Peupins workshop received a €2,500 contribution for the purchase of equipment and tools.
“The professional integration employees have embarked on the adventure without any particular knowledge of woodworking, simply armed with curiosity and an interest in this project. In addition to developing their wood maintenance and assembly skills, the winners enjoyed working in a small team with other colleagues willing to learn. The experience worked so well that one of the employees has even decided to make it his career and has started a woodworking course.“
Frédéric Canteau – Technical Supervisor at Chantiers Peupins – Winners of the Jury Award
With this partnership, Maisons du Monde and Emmaus intend to promote creation as a support for the integration of the long-term unemployed.
Together, they are repeating this contest in 2019 with a view to encouraging the emergence of new creations among Emmaus communities, and, thus, promoting the teams’ talents. The Emmaus structures will be invited to apply until 15 September 2019 and the prize will be awarded at the “48 heures Emmaus”, an open weekend organised at all Emmaus France structures on 16 and 17 November in order to celebrate the movement’s 70th anniversary.