Airbus floors, scaffolding… in Ivry-sur-Seine, waste from major industries is transformed into furniture

The multicolored ‘Gravêne’ chairs are the flagship of the Maximum furniture, which produces them in Ivry-sur-Seine. (© CM/ news Val-de-Marne)

It is in a former industrial building made of bricks and exposed metal beams in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) that maximum† Created in April 2015 by Romee de la BigneBasil de Gaulle and Armand Bernoudthe company uses industrial waste as a source of material and creation to manufacture sustainable design furniture for both the office and home.

Graduates of the School of Decorative Arts in Paris

Romée and Basil meet in theschool of decorative arts from Paris. “We had found a whole batch of test tubes in the garbage cans of a university campus, remember the first one, we had reused them to make felt-tip pens. From this derivation, two reflections emerge for the friends: “We easily threw away objects, material, which we would rework and therefore we expend energy and produce pollution, while we could rack our brains to find another use for it in his original form .The amounts of waste are then such that they can be reused to produce other objects in series. »

The two friends go out graduates in 2013 in object design and graphic design, and is joined by Armand, a business school graduate. Today, Employing a maximum of ten people

Maximum approaches large companies in France and offers them to empty their waste bins. “Today it is more and more those who come to us”, laughs Romée de la Bigne. Plastic, wood, glass… all materials are good to reuse for Maximum, “if they are in a sufficiently large quantity and of a homogeneous quality”, explains Romée de la Bigne.

No way to make small series that couldn’t support the company’s economic model. Each year, Maximum produces a new model of furniture from its scrap or industrial waste. Here carbon plates for the floors of the A350 aircraft from Airbus become light but sturdy planks. Featured Vauban barrier safety of the Police station too damaged gives itself a second life by becoming a sofa, or pieces of scaffolding supporting a glass table.

The ecological footprint is intended to be as small as possible, by only recovering waste in France and by carrying out the entire production process at Ivry-sur-Seine

More than 3,000 seat combinations

But the flagship is the “engrave”, a chair of which each one is unique. On large shelves, it comes in hundreds of multicolored folders waiting to be mounted with wooden or iron legs. “We can do more” 3,000 combinations of different colours, shapes and types of feet,” explains Romée de la Bigne. The chair is made of polypropylene plastic, which comes from a plastics processing company.

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The chair legs are pre-cut.  In the background the two machines that melt plastic.
The chair legs are pre-cut. In the background the two machines that melt plastic. (© CM/actu Val-de-Marne)

The granulated plastic is heated to 180 degrees in a machine that brings it out in liquid form, which is poured onto a mould. The mixing of the colors is achieved by some of the colored plastic that remains in the machine at the end of each operation. You then have to wait a little over half an hour for the plastic to cool before attaching the iron or wooden legs, the latter due to the fall of a cooper. Only the screws are not recycled, while the chair has a 10-year warranty.

multicolored chairs
Final step in the manufacture of the chairs, the attachment with the legs, in recycled iron or wood. (© CM/actu Val-de-Marne)

Companies are Maximum’s main customers, but private individuals can also order furniture. “We thought a lot about the design we wanted to give to the furniture, whether it would be as suitable for an office as it is for the home, while retaining a timeless side. “A sustainable and responsible made in France that still has a price, the “gravene” is sold 198 € each

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