Groupe Renault has chosen Eco-Actions to coordinate the development of one of its fair trade products. Created almost 10 years ago, Eco-Actions designs leather goods accessories from recycled canvas sheets; a concept which has now been labelled ‘Re-Made in France’. Through its work, Eco-Actions hopes to promote re-employment and support the local economy by forming partnerships with businesses in the Île-de-France region. Eco-Actions is working in tight collaboration with the Fondation des Amis de l’Atelier (Friends of the Workshop Foundation) and one of its ESATs (French Support and Work Assistance Establishment), and is helping integrate people with disabilities.
To this day, the Fondation des Amis de l’Atelier has supported 3 000 people with mental and psychological handicaps or autism across 80 establishments, including eight ESATs. An ESAT is a medical and social establishment that gives people with disabilities access to professional activities by offering high quality services and products to individuals and businesses.
The ESAT which Eco-Actions is working with, the Ateliers de Chennevières, supports 91 people with disabilities, who are involved in various vocational activities (upcycling, green spaces, industrial laundry, packaging). The ESAT’s support team adapts the work through customised educational and technical interventions that enable self-realisation and a sense of personal and professional satisfaction among those supported.
For 20 years now, the ESAT Ateliers de Chennevières has been developing the ‘UpCycling’ workshop. This workshop recycles and adds value to recovered materials, which are cut up and later assembled to make, for the most part, designer leather goods items. Today, the workshop employs twelve full-time staff. Nothing is lost, everything is transformed... into useful, unique, inclusive, ‘made in France’ items that promote the social and professional inclusion of people with disabilities, whose self-image is enhanced through the recognition of the quality of their creations.
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"I have worked at the workshop since 1981, when Les Ateliers de Chennevières first opened. I am specialised in stitching with industrial sewing machines. In the fabrication process of the cable tie, I am in charge of the stitching of the velcros. This task requires meticulousness and precision because there is a double-seam in order to ensure the product’s sturdiness. With the fabrication of this product I can fully use my abilities and skills."
"I have been working at the workshop for just over two years, during which I have developed a great skilfulness. In the fabrication process of the cable tie, I work on several tasks : the preparatory tracing, the sticking of the velcros and the stitching of the elements. This work has helped me enhance my ability to focus. I am pleased because it helps me in my work on other pieces."
"During the four and a half year that I have worked at the workshop, I have learnt many technical skills, from scratch. I love stitching. I am very proud of working on the task of assembling the two pieces of the cable tie. This step is essential, and being in charge of it motivates me to work on more difficult tasks."
"I have worked at Les Ateliers de Chennevières for 31 years, as cutter and assistant preparer. For the cable tie, I prepare the stacks of fabric, then press cut them with a punch. I also trace and place the velcros. I am very proud to work for a great car brand."
"I have stitched hems and assembled parts. It is a task that requires patience and meticulousness. I started slowly in order to achieve the quality level that was requested by the instructor. I gain more and more self-assurance with each new cable tie that I work on. I am very pleased with this work because I know that I am being trusted. I have worked 8 years at the workshop and have acquired very good skills that I can now make good use of. I hope I will continue to progress."