DESIGN – Three young people under 30 years of age have launched Maximum. An ecological project that makes it possible to rehabilitate industrial waste.
A table built with discarded scaffolding, a stool made of plastic waste and a high chair, made of plastic and parquet slats: you can’t imagine falling face-to-face with this kind of furniture when you push the door of this hangar in Ivry-sur-Seine.
This old building, which will be destroyed in two years’ time as part of the Ivry Confluences project, is currently occupied by three friends, Basile, Romée and Armand, the first two graduates of the Arts Deco school, and the last one from law and commerce.
All under 30 years old, they have launched Maximum, a company specializing in the creation of furniture made from industrial waste, since April 1, 2015.
“We work with waste from mass production. Our furniture is therefore made of recurring materials, with the same products every time. This also allows us to produce furniture in series while recycling waste,” explains Armand.
These design creations are placed under the sign of the circular economy, an economy operating in a loop, avoiding the creation of waste. A conception of creation that is important for the three acolytes. “A project launched today, which would not be environmentally responsible is not viable. We still have a world to rethink and rebuild, so we wanted to get involved in this plan,” says Romée.
From waste research to design and manufacturing, everything is handled by the three partners. Currently, they work with five suppliers, which allows them to create three pieces of furniture.
French climbing federation, plastics company, scaffolding manufacturer, and even Notre-Dame-de-Paris: the potential sources of waste are numerous. So, a space dedicated to this waste was created in the workshop, the “waste“. Here, fire suits, test tubes, fire extinguishers are piled up….
In short, a whole bunch of objects that could potentially be used to create future furniture. “Even if there is a lot of waste for which we have no solution,” Armand confesses. “We are also dependent on the amount of waste, because it would be an absolute must to ask to create waste! “he continues.
Do not sacrifice quality
However, creating furniture based on waste is by no means synonymous with a lack of quality and comfort. “Even if we want to reintegrate as much waste as possible into our furniture, we are not hooked on 100% waste, because that does not mean that the furniture should not be pleasant and functional,” explains Romée.
But for him, it’s not just waste, “This waste we work with is not just a piece of raw material. These are objects that have been produced in French factories and that carry within them a know-how.”
Measure its impact at the right price
Since three months, Maximum has been selling its furniture to individuals and professionals. When you go to their website and validate your purchase, the amount of kilos of waste saved is displayed on the screen.
Customers also have the opportunity to visit the workshop to see the different pieces of furniture before buying, in order to get a better idea of what they look like.
Concerning the prices, they were fixed by the three partners, trying to be as fair as possible. “We wanted to park reasonable prices, but we must keep in mind that they are handmade objects, a kilometre from Paris. It would be nonsense to make objects that are too expensive, because our mission is still to empty the skips,” says Romée. For example, for the high chair, it will cost 350€.