Clarise Merlet is a witty Frenchwoman concerned about the environment, after much thought she decided to give thousands of discarded clothes a second chance. The idea of it arises from the alarming figures in France, since it is estimated that there are around 4 million tons of textile waste, although only a third is collected for recycling reuse.
Given this, Merlet asked himself an important question: what if he could make use of the same resources that have already been extracted to build something? This is how FabBRICK was born, a different company that develops decorative and insulating bricks from old clothes.
The procedure for making it is relatively simple, as each brick ends up using around two or three t-shirts of crushed material, which they buy from a supplier in Normandy.
Other materials are also part of the process, cotton, polyester, elastane and PVC, as well as an ecological glue that Merlet herself invented. All the waste is mixed to be later pressed and put into a brick mold.
“So I made different prototypes with different ecological glues and I tried different ways of putting the textile in the mold to compress it. Eventually, I came up with a prototype that held up well, reacts well to fire, and also resists moisture.”
There are currently four different sizes of these bricks available, which work as thermal and acoustic insulation, making them very functional for decorative walls or to make furniture.
“Since our creation at the end of 2018, we have already designed more than 40,000 bricks representing 12 tons of recycled textiles. And what is more? FabBRICK can customize the color of your wall with the clothes you decide to recycle.”
What started as a small venture already has the support of large international companies such as IKEA.
FabBRICK has designed more than 40 thousand bricks, this means more than 12 tons of recycled textiles. The company has also worked with the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris and Vinci Construction to turn their own work uniforms into stools and lamps.
In April 2019, they received the support of thousands through a crowdfunding round, obtaining more than 11 thousand dollars, used to develop a brick machine that industrializes the production process.