Welcome to the Norwex Movement

The Construction Material Made from Torn Clothing


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A Solution to Pollution?

Have you ever struggled over what to do with worn out, frayed, stained or ripped clothing? You can’t really hand it down, pass it on, put it in a garage sale or donate it, like you might if it were still in decent shape and you were simply tired of it. Most of us would probably just toss it. But one young architecture student has found a better way.

Meet Clarisse Merlet, creator of FabBRICK. Clarisse was in her fifth year at Paris’s ENSA Paris-Malaquais researching new approaches to construction when she had an idea for giving worn-out clothing new life by turning it into something beautiful and functional.

Basically, Clarisse takes worn, torn, unusable clothing that would otherwise pile up in landfills and turns it into “bricks” that can be used for building partition walls and furniture or simply for decoration.

Upcycling this type of waste is a refreshing idea, not only in Europe where four million tons of textiles are tossed every year, but even in the U.S., which discards a whopping 14 million tons of textiles annually.

Here’s how it works: First, the shredded fabric is combined with an eco-friendly glue Clarisse developed herself. Then the mixture is transferred to another of her creations, a unique brick-molding device powered solely by human energy, no electricity required. The wet bricks are removed and allowed to air dry up to two weeks. All materials are bio-sourced and non-polluting, and Clarisse and her team can pump out over 1,000 “FabBRICKs” a week.

While the bricks respond well to fire and humidity, they are not currently sturdy enough for home construction. However, Clarisse’s 2020 to do list includes creating bricks (and the machinery to mold them) suitable for building homes, with a goal of eventually helping to reduce the use of natural resources like wood, sand and oil within the construction industry.

comment_2What do you think, Movement members? Would you consider using a material like FabBRICK in your home or apartment? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Resources:

Bricks made from old clothing? I’d try them!

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Yes:
 
93%
No:
 
7%
Total Votes:
213
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Kara Knodel
Kara Knodel
4 months ago

I love this!

Glenda Kirkland
Glenda Kirkland
3 months ago
Reply to  Kara Knodel

The making of the bricks video was Awesome.

REJEANA DEVIANA
REJEANA DEVIANA
4 months ago

How creative! A beautiful way to recycle. Hope Clarisse continues her efforts.

Meghan Miller
Meghan Miller
4 months ago

What an INCREDIBLE invention!! LOVE IT!!!

Jennifer Pena
Jennifer Pena
4 months ago

These bricks would definitely make a statement piece of furniture. I would use them for shelving units, a table, benches….there are so many creative ways to use these bricks!

Cindy Horton
Cindy Horton
4 months ago

This is a great idea. Is there a way to donate our ripped clothing?

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
4 months ago
Reply to  Cindy Horton

Thanks for your question, Cindy! I couldn’t locate the answer on the FabBrick website; however I did find a link to a form you can use to email your question, if you’d like to pursue it. Please visit https://www.fab-brick.com/contact.

Beth Clark
Beth Clark
19 days ago
Reply to  Cindy Horton

My local St Vincent de Paul thrift store takes laundered “rags”. They sell it, to a company that reuses clothing. Not used for bricks, but keeps cloth out of the landfill.

Dolly Tangi
Dolly Tangi
4 months ago

Love this idea! I would love to be able to donate unsalable clothing to a great project like this to keep them from going to landfills.

Teri Rockwood
Teri Rockwood
4 months ago

So innovative and gives us yet another option for sustainable living.

Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson
4 months ago

I love this idea!!!

Corrie Selby
Corrie Selby
4 months ago

Neat idea! I hope she continues to grow and expand these efforts. I wouldn’t mind a few for myself too!

Cheri D Foss
Cheri D Foss
4 months ago

Where do you donate used clothing for this?

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheri D Foss

Thanks for your question, Cheri! We couldn’t locate the answer on the FabBrick website; however we did find a link to a form you can use to email your question, if you’d like to pursue it. Please visit https://www.fab-brick.com/contact.

Colleen Wilson
Colleen Wilson
3 months ago

Why to go Clarisse Merlet! That’s using your head!
Such a creative and intelligent difference in making the world a better place.
Very proud of you!

Glenda Kirkland
Glenda Kirkland
3 months ago

Love the video. The brick making was interesting.

Beth Clark
Beth Clark
19 days ago

My meal kit recycling used to come fabric insulation. I had some left over and just used it to insulate around the basement window in my office. The new ones are another type material. We still reuse all of them too. We have dispersed them into our attic (obviously not our first defense, but just a little extra). Our current project is insulating between our basement ceiling and main level as we remodel our basement.

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