A month ago, a fire devastated a warehouse located at No. 9 chemin d’El Pey in Colomiers, in which the company Indigo Weel stored and repaired bicycles and lithium batteries. This disaster also made “collateral victims”: thus, adjoining Indigo Wheel, the warehouse of the association La RemiXerie was immediately concerned by the decree of imminent danger issued by the Municipality, which prohibited access to the entire site.
€40,000 invested for nothing
“For us, it’s also a disaster!” exclaims Frédéric Chabardes, employee of La RemiXerie, at the origin of the creation of this first resource center in western Toulouse, opened in 2017, and which had moved in March 2021 to 9, chemin d’El Pey, in a larger and much more functional premises. “We had to invest €40,000 in fitting-out work to move in! Preparing for the move, moving, putting everything back in place, also represented thousands of hours of work, including 5,000 carried out by our volunteers! Now , the file is in the hands of justice and insurance, probably for months. We are forbidden to enter the premises, so we can no longer accept donations or recover anything. Au Plein Center, the shop is empty since we can no longer supply it. To say that our last months of 2021 had been excellent!” he concludes, tired and on the verge of discouragement.
Potential customers are still there, however, like Marie: “I used to go to the warehouse every two weeks or so, and I also regularly go to the store. Giving objects a second life is an ethical, responsible approach. What’s more, La RemiXerie practices professional integration. Buying is therefore also an act of solidarity: for me it is fundamental. I am ready to help them with their resettlement, I hope they will bounce back.”
Michèle drives the point home: “A place like this is a ‘plus’ for Colomiers. You can find everything there, at prices accessible to all. We take pleasure in antiquing, in projecting ourselves. The objects have a soul. I used, recycled, transformed, diverted lots of stuff! For me, RemiXerie is also an atmosphere, human contact, diversity.”
The frustration of customers
The approach of Claire (21 years old), is carefully thought out, almost “political”? Lifelong Columérine, continuing her studies in Paris. “I was in high school when La RemiXerie opened, she explains. The mother of one of my friends was a volunteer there and I immediately adhered to the concept, which completely corresponds to my values: not to throw , not to contribute to the exploitation of people on the other side of the world. Consuming is a commitment! I bought clothes, small objects, and when I left to live alone, I equipped myself in kitchen accessories, household appliances in good condition, and even a washing machine!Everything is checked before sale, volunteers and employees are attentive, all love and are proud of what they do, the sharing is rich and the pleasant atmosphere. Unfortunately, I have not yet found an equivalent in Paris, in terms of sales area and above all, price!”
A vector of social ties
Agnès, a volunteer, summarizes: “The RemiXerie plays the role of intermediary between those who give and those who buy, by becoming a real vector of social ties. Between employees, volunteers, customers, members and donors, c t is a whole microcosm that has been created in Colomiers and which makes you want to meet and talk. It’s also a real pleasure, when someone shows us photos of their revamped objects or in place in a new inside!”
The conclusion goes to Frédéric, who has always defended this idea: “A resource center is a territorial project, not just a simple associative project.”