La Tête dans les Nuages creates multicoloured bean bags out of exhausted hot air balloons

La Tête dans les Nuages
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Louis Lefèvre

La Tête dans les Nuages is an enterprise which gives a second chance to hot air balloons, advertising posters, tarpaulines, and polystyrene packaging. At the end of their life cycle, these products would normally end up in landfills or incinerators. Instead, they are upcycled into bean bags.

This initiative is based on the following considerations:

  • only 30 % of polystyrene packaging coming from large distribution is recycled,
  • hot air balloons have a very limited life cycle. However resistant and air tight they may be, after 650 hours in the air or 13,000 kms in 8 years of life, they are dismantled,
  • advertising posters and tarpaulines used for sports and cultural events, once the campaign or event is over, are discarded, but their technical characteristics would allow them to last for years and years,
  • bean bags currently available on the market come from far away countries where working conditions might not be fair and the environment is not always safeguarded.

La Tête dans les Nuages produces with the following values in mind:

  • resource efficiency
  • upcycling
  • social inclusion
  • made in France, use of local enterprises and know-how
  • limited series production.
Main results

Since opening up shop in December 2017, the enterprise

  • collects polystyrene and hot air balloons, polystyrene grinding and cushion filling as well as advertising posters and tarpaulines from sports or cultural events all over France in partnershp with Les Connexions
  • cleans ands regenerate the raw materials into usable materials, which are then used for the manufacturing of bean bags. This is done 7 km from the enterprise by the ESAT des Muguets - an association which helps handicapped people get engaged in working activities.
  • cuts and sews this material into actual bean bags in partnership with Mode Estime - a tailoring lab 50m away that employs physically, psychologically and/or socially vulnerable people to facilitate their labour market inclusion and insertion.