back Image the Selene desk

Tomorrow's furniture : how do you reconcile economic, environmental and social performance ?

29 September 2022

Committed to more responsible commerce, the Manutan Group would like to promote the circular economy within its entire ecosystem. As part of this dynamic, the European leader in B2B e-commerce has created a desk made from 98% reclaimed materials, called ‘Séléné’. The design of this very first product in partnership with experts in the circular economy is a new step in the development of its eco-responsible range.

Manutan, which incorporates sustainability challenges at the heart of its business model and aims to become a key player in the B2B circular economy, has teamed up with Valdelia, an eco-organisation in charge of managing the recycling of professional furniture at the end of its life cycle, the Ares Group, a group of organisations for integration through employment, and Christophe Dabi, product designer, to carry out this ambitious project. 

“The Valdelia innovation department has supported Manutan in its upcycling project from the initial discussions to the supply of reclaimed materials. It’s very interesting to see how a company like Manutan has adapted upcycling, which is often artisanal, on a more industrial scale. We’re delighted to see that members of the sector are tackling environmental issues and using our expertise to create new models and face changes in the furniture market,” announces Léa Querrien, Innovation Project Manager at Valdelia

Sold by two Group subsidiaries, Manutan France and Manutan Collectivités, Séléné comprises 97.7% upcycled materials (only the screws and edges are new) and each desk is designed in ten hours’ work by vulnerable people on a professional integration course.

“For Ares, the Séléné table is proof that you can combine design with the circular economy, while facilitating training for people learning the carpentry profession. These are two meaningful sectors that give hope for a more harmonious human ecology,” states Jonathan Richard, Director of the Ares Services 93 entity, a branch of the Ares group that manufactures the tables. 

With 80% of CO2 emissions and 26.89 kg of waste avoided in comparison to designing a new desk, Séléné proves that it’s possible to make something aesthetic and functional with old materials.  Its competitive price, production capacity and short delivery times are real assets for a product made from salvaged materials, a sector in which these criteria are often difficult to fulfil.
To be an instigator of change, we wanted to provide concrete and responsible solutions to our customers for the purchase of their professional furniture. This project is full of meaning: it will help private and public organisations in their responsible procurement policy, in the context of the AGEC law , while promoting professional integration and offering a second life to used furniture,” explains Marine Varret, Sustainable/CSR Offer and Supply Chain Manager at Manutan.

Manutan’s strategy and activities are focused on sustainable development and this desk is a perfect example because it brings together economic, environmental and social performance. Made from reclaimed materials, designed by people who are extremely marginalised (women, young people, senior citizens, refugees, disabled people, RSA (working tax credit) beneficiaries or people with low levels of training) and aligned with market prices, Séléné is paving the way for tomorrow’s furniture which promotes more responsible consumption. 

As a real driver in its ecosystem, Manutan is raising its customers, supplier partners and employees’ awareness of the circular economy’s alternatives, to manage changes in order to face the challenges of our era. This is a wonderful illustration of the Group’s ambition: to build a sustainable B2B model in which progress, inclusion and the ecological transition go hand in hand.