You may have noticed an orange van parked near your neighbor’s house or in front of an association you belong to. But what is it exactly? An ING Direct vehicle? Part of Orange’s fleet? An Alibaba rep? No, no and no! It’s Recyclivre, a small company with a big footprint.
Recyclivre is a bona fide member of the group of companies that focus on being environmentally friendly. The company gives a second life to books. It opened its fourth regional location, in Lille, on April 15, 2016. The Lille location is strategic for the Paris company as it focuses on conquering the international market.
Used books looking for new owners
Like Blablacar, Critizr, BringMeMy and others, Recyclivre addresses a personal issue faced by consumers: what to do with all the books that are filling up shelves, nooks and crannies, and the basement? Founding manager David Lorrain asked himself this exact question back in 2008. Today, he’s sharing the solution with 600,000 customers. The company picks up books that are collecting dust in people’s homes and association and company offices; more than a million books have been given a second life.
Betting on a social approach
Very early on, David Lorrain imagined a business model that would combine profit with environmental and social responsibility. Putting books back into circulation and partnerships with various associations allow Recyclivre to:
- positively impact the environment – the company has saved 9,500 trees, 496,051,085 liters of water and 10 tons of CO2, the latter thanks to its use of electric vehicles (those orange vans from earlier in the story);
- have a positive social impact – the company focuses on creating a diverse work force. Around 20 disabled individuals have been recruited to work on staff. In addition, Recyclivre has contributed €374,633 to literacy and conservation programs.
An important presence in the used book market
Preparing orders, packing, warehousing, triage, labelling, points of sale—there’s a lot to do and the company has a cutting-edge process in place. With its national book distribution center and its sophisticated internal management software, the company plays in the same league as industry giants Amazon and PriceMinister. After eight years in business, the company dreams of expanding into international markets. The Lille’s agency team is offering its assistance so that this dream can become a reality.*
First steps into the international arena: Lille as a jumping off point
“Lille is one of the areas within France with a rich and diverse cultural scene. It was, therefore, quite important for Recyclivre to establish a presence in this city for access to northern France and French-speaking Belgium,” states Lorrain.
Johann Vandomber, manager of the Lille location, and the person in charge of growing business in the Hauts-de-France region and Belgium, says, “When we made it known that we’d be opening a location in Lille, there was a flood of calls and pick up requests! Within three months, I had collected the equivalent of 20 pallets worth of books. All the regional associations we’ve had contact with up to this point have supported our activities. We’ve had an excellent start and, now, we hope to reach €4 million in sales,” he says enthusiastically.
*Recyclivre was referred to us through MOUVES, an association for social entrepreneurs. We partnered with the company just as they were searching for a physical location for their Lille offices. We are currently involved in helping them build and expand their Lille-based team.