The story begins in 2008. In his (small) Parisian accommodation, David Lorrain begins to collapse under books. Out of the question to throw them in the trash. He wishes to give them away, but is running out of time. “I realized that other people surely had this problem, he recalls. That’s how I started the first home book collection service.” Thus was born RecycLivre, which over the years has become a gigantic second-hand online bookstore. RecycLivre recovers free of charge books donated by libraries, schools and other structures. Individuals can drop off their novels and thrillers in a parcel relay or in a partner bookbox.
More than 1 billion liters of water saved
The books then arrive in a huge warehouse where they are sorted. On the one hand, those that will be sold at low prices on the Internet. On the other hand, those which, too damaged or too confidential, will be recycled into pulp.
“Our three pillars are ecology, solidarity and economy, confides David Lorrain. I want to show that these words are not antonyms.” In 12 years, the company estimates that it has saved 38,000 trees and saved more than 1 billion liters of water. The vehicles used are electric and part of the proceeds finances sustainable development projects. “At the moment, we are testing 100% biodegradable packaging”, adds David Lorrain.
Integration jobs and support for associations
On the solidarity side, RecycLivre donates 10% of its turnover to associations, such as Lire and Faire Lire. A commitment honored “even before starting to earn money”, specifies the founder. Or more than 2 billion euros at this stage. To manage its warehouse, located in Essonne, the company turned to Log’Ins, which employs people in professional reintegration or with disabilities. “This extra meaning simplifies things a lot, assures David Lorrain. It is an incredible driving force.”
What about the economy? Each sale pays little. It is the volume effect that allows RecycLivre to be profitable – 1 million books are sold each year – but also technology. “We have made our algorithm available to associations like Emmaüs, which receive a lot of donations, explains David Lorrain. This tool makes it possible to identify the books which will sell well and which they should keep, the more precise books they better to offer on a platform like ours, and the books that will be recycled. “
After opening seven offices in France and one in Madrid, the online bookstore is targeting Italy. In the coming weeks, a buy-back application will also be launched: individuals will be able to sell their books to RecycLivre or, at their option, return the sum to the Zero Waste association. Always with the same leitmotif for its founder: “Give access to culture and offer books a different destiny than the incinerator.”
24 hours of solutions
This Monday takes place the 24 Hours for France solutions operation, at the initiative of Reporters of Hope. Throughout the day, 50 media (including the JDD, but also France Télévisions, Radio France, TF1, L’Obs, Society and 22 regional press titles) are mobilized and disseminate articles, sounds or images highlighting concrete and inspiring initiatives that help provide answers to economic, social and ecological problems. A major online program will be broadcast at 9 p.m. with the philosopher Frédéric Lenoir as the common thread, accessible on this link. For more information, visit reportersdespoir.org.