Used books have always been the most sustainable way to enjoy good literature. However, French bookseller Recyclivre has built an entire business around being sustainable and socially responsible.
“The company was created in 2008,” said Charlie Carle, co-director of Recyclivre. “We started by offering a free home collection service for unwanted books. This allowed many individuals and companies to give a second life to their books.
“We employ 35 people split between our eight branches in France (Paris, Lille, Nantes, Strasbourg, Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse) and Spain (Madrid). Our warehouse is managed by Log’Ins, a logistics company dedicated to employing disabled and excluded people, and they employ 40 people in Villabé, a city just south of Paris.
“In cities where Recyclivre has a branch, people can make an appointment and we will collect their books from their home. In other French cities, we have a network of partners where books can be dropped off. We are now expanding internationally, into Belgium as well as Spain, and we will soon offer our service in Italy.”
Libraries are also an important part of Recyclivre’s commitment to sustainability.
“We work with eco-responsible libraries that entrust us with books removed from their inventory so they are not thrown away,” said Charlie. “We sell those books for them and donate part of the net sale price to the association of their choice.”
When Recyclivre receives a book that is too badly damaged to be read, it is recycled into paper pulp for printing newspapers.
“We are also a member of the 1% for the Planet network,” added Charlie. “We donate 1% of our turnover to environmental associations via this network. We also support other things by advocating for access to culture for everyone through our many partnerships."
Since 2008, more than 2.5 million euros have been donated to various associations. In 2021 Recyclivre partnered with Naturevolution (a conservation charity), L’Ecole des semeurs (an educational project for young people who have struggled in the traditional school system) and Lire et faire lire (a literacy charity).
“Buying from RecycLivre means supporting an inclusive and sustainable economy,” says Charlie.