Innovative sufficiency solutions and business models for circular economy in the textile sector in Val-de-Marne

A picture of an idyllic area of a town/city, with a chuch in the background.

Image by Sucy en Brie, Val de Marne, credit Jean-Paul Grange

The Val-de-Marne en Transition local experiment aims to create a Local Accelerator Hub in collaboration with a group of 10+ local entrepreneurs, associations, and institutions. The hub will focus on rethinking the textile lifecycle by co-creating innovative and disruptive selling, buying, and upcycling solutions on a local scale. The experiment also aims to generate local job opportunities and increase the resilience of participating stakeholders and the local community.

The experiment will primarily involve actors from the textile sector, starting with clothing, in the T11 (Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir) intercommunal structure (territory) and extend its focus to the entire Val-de-Marne department covered by the 3 territories: theT10 (Paris-Est-Marne et Bois), T11 (Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir) et T12 (Grand-Orly Seine Bièvre) terrotories., encompassing 53 municipalities. The goal is to inspire and motivate other actors to initiate similar actions in the region.

Local Context

The Val-de-Marne department is located in the inner ring of Paris and has a dense population of 1.4 million inhabitants. It is predominantly an urban area with most residents living in small and medium-sized cities.

The Val-de-Marne en Transition (VdMT) association fosters collaboration between local citizen-led initiatives and undertakes projects with broader scopes. Their cooperative company, L’Alternateur, established in 2021, focuses on social economy, innovation, and ecological transition. It serves as an incubator, providing support and training for individuals interested in creating their own projects or initiatives in the field.

Specific Needs and Challenges

Local second-hand stores and waste recovery centers face challenges in maintaining a resilient economic model. Currently, waste recovery centers heavily rely on public subsidies to pay their employees, while a significant portion of clothing sold in France is new. Local second-hand stores face competition from online platforms that may not prioritize robust waste management practices and can potentially encourage a "rebound effect" where customers quickly buy and resell clothes without sustainable solutions.

This project aims to analyze the needs of professionals and potential customers in the sector. It will utilize co-creative and collective intelligence tools to reduce the isolation felt by stakeholders and collaboratively identify, validate, and develop solutions to increase their turnover.

Detailed Description of the Experiment

The first step of the experiment is to recruit local participants to form the Local Accelerator Hub. This will involve actors from the clothing life cycle and upholstery industry, working together to transform their processes and business models.

The experiment will collaborate with four local waste recovery centers, two second-hand stores, a recycling organization, several upcycling stores, a home organizing company, a restyling company, and potentially a psychologist. The focus will be on needs analysis and stimulating commercial innovation.

The experiment will also engage large local organizations such as the Val-de-Marne Department and the Henri Mondor Hospital. These organizations are interested in recycling their professional clothing and sharing their experiences.

Three workshops will be conducted as part of the social experiment:

  • Workshop 1: Mapping the different participants and identifying the link between each stage of the clothing lifecycle.
  • Workshop 2: Addressing the challenges faced by each participant in their respective businesses and exploring ways to reduce clothing production through innovative services and new business models (e.g., children's clothes rental services, home organizer services, etc.).
  • Workshop 3: Evaluating proposed solutions through cross-discussions with citizens and people with disabilities to generate a list of participant-specific improvements, new solutions, and services.

In May 2024, the local circular business award will be given based on peer and citizen voting.

Local engagement

The experiment will collaborate with Les Ateliers de Chennevière, a local a local establishment of the foundation Les amis de l’atelier focused on the integration of people with diverse disabilities, to include the needs of disabled customers in the innovation process. They may participate in the upcycling process through the social experiment.

Additionally, most of the local waste recovery centers employ underprivileged individuals, and there is a predominantly female workforce in waste recovery centers and clothing retail organizations. The goal of the experiment is to help these individuals find an efficient business model that allows them to lead dignified lives while respecting the planet.


The experiment will primarily involve  a large number of local participants to facilitate face-to-face discussions and foster strong relationships. The participating entities include: Récup'R (Waste management center) (at Sucy 0 km), L'Effet Oh (Home Organizing company) (at Roissy en Brie, 16 km), Créteil Ressourcerie Val-de-Marne (Waste management center) (at Créteil 8 km), Val-de-Marne Département (professional clothes recovery) (at Créteil 8 km), TÀCA (Upcycling facility) (at Saint Maur 6 km), Les Galas d'Elise (Upcycling facility) (at Sucy 0 km), Inès Relooking (Relooking services) (at Maison Alfort 11 km), Florence Lespinesse (Home accessories) (at Saint Maur 5 km), Henri MONDOR Hospital (at Créteil 8 km), Approche (Waste recovery center) (at Saint Maur 5 km), Alpha Sucy Handicap (association of disabled people) (at Sucy 0km), Tisseco (clothes recovery and recycling organization) (at Roissy en Brie 16 km).

Additional Remarks

This social experiment will be conducted in close collaboration with all participants through a shared governance process for group decision-making known as sociocracy. The process will involve formulating proposals, refining them through divergence/convergence techniques, and addressing potential objections to develop effective solutions.

Local partner

Val-de-Marne en Transition



Number of inhabitants




Website/social media


Contact person:

Jean-Paul Grange, Co-president

jeanpaul [dot] grange [at] gmail [dot] com

June 2023

Recruiting participants

Short working session and common dinner

Sep 2023

Workshop 1

Nov 2023

Workshop 2

Jan 2023

Workshop 3

Apr 2024

Study tour

May 2024

Circular Economy Award

Jun 2024

Data collection

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For further details please contact co-leads Professor Chris Foulds ( and Professor Rosie Robison (

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036640. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SHARED GREEN DEAL HAS project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.