French Resource Shop a Great Model for Cities Worldwide


resource shop lamps before upcycling
Lamps before upcycling

There are many good examples of ways to go green, from the small, individual level, to the national level. Individuals are doing their part by shopping local, and even buying green products such as solar powered garage doors, hybrid cars, and products made from recycled or organic materials. Nations are also making changes and doing their part as a country, in order to reduce their impact on the environment.

We take cues from many nations that have implemented projects that have worked well and solved problems, the same can be true for going green as a nation.

France has come up with an interesting and very viable solution for making the “three R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle) a reality, and a business prospect. Known for it’s variety of small local businesses, France is now also home to eighty so-called “Resource Shops“.

These shops are like many donation-based organizations in that they will take donations of stuff and sell it for affordable prices. However, as opposed to other organizations, these shops take pretty much anything, even if it is broken.

These shops will repair any items in which reparation is possible, and resell them for affordable prices. Not only does this keep items out of the waste stream, it employs repair people and provides cost effective choices for those without tons of means. What can’t be repaired is often upcycled into unique, affordable, useful goods such as decorative lamps and other household items.

What cannot be repaired or upcycled in any way is properly recycled. This is great for the environment, the community, and those who do not have as much purchasing power as others. It is also showing to benefit the nation as well, helping to reduce the amount of garbage goes into the waste stream.

resource shop lamps after upcycling
Lamps after upcycling

Resource shops have been highly successful in France and they are currently in the processes of opening up a number of new resource shops in Paris. Other nations should take note of this concept and consider implementing it in their own communities. These shops are great for local business, the community, and the environment.

It reduces waste, encourages creativity, provides jobs, and brings low cost goods to those who need them. The biggest thing that separates French resource shops from thrift stores is that they repair, upcycle, and recycle everything that comes through their doors. This type of establishment doesn’t have to be a national effort, it can easily be a community effort, benefiting every tier of the community, as well as the planet.

Image credits: mod pieces on flickr

  1. misha

    hi. I am very lucky to live in Saint Louis, where we have our own kind of resource shop for makers. It is The Upcycle Exchange, a materials market for makers, with pay as you wish pricing. I am a quilter and crafter and get many of my supplies there. She started as a club and we paid a quarterly fee and told her what materials we wanted. She magically found them and we got whatever she found. It was so successful she decided to open an actual storefront. They are in the process of moving the store to a better location. It is a fabulous resource for us Saint Louis crafters.

  2. Steph

    I’m an expat in France and I’m very proud of my adopted country for its attitude to re/up-cycling. These Emmaus shops are fantastic. We’ve got plenty of stuff from them. They have erratic opening hours and are generally only found on the outskirts of large cities but they’re a very good thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *