Clarisse Merlet of FabBRICK

While she was a student in architecture, Clarisse Merlet, founder of FabBRICK, notices how much construction is a polluting and energy-intensive industry, so she decided to find a way to built differently, especially with the use of raw material wastes such as plastic bottles, cardboard or plastic cups.


Then, Clarisse figured out that textile industry was poorly considered regarding recycling this material which has relevant properties in the area of construction knowing that cotton is considered as a powerful thermal and acoustic insulator. Then she had the idea of re-using discarded clothes by making it an innovative raw material. 

Based on the characteristics of the recovered textiles, she designs an ecological building material both thermal and acoustic insulator.

Made exclusively from bio-sourced and non-polluting ingredients, on average one FabBRICK-made brick contains the equivalent of two T-shirts. A raw material that the entrepreneur receives ready shredded from a clothing collection company. The coloured scraps are mixed with a eco-friendly glue developed by Clarisse, then placed in a mould and mechanically compressed.
Developed especially for the project, the machine uses no energy other than that of the architect, who activates it with a jack. At the end of the process, the bricks dry naturally for two weeks. They are self-locking and can be stacked without moving.
The old clothes that we put in the special collection bins in the city find a second life: any pieces that are too damaged to be reused become excellent building materials, offering both sound and heat insulation.

FabBrick bricks hold many different properties which make them so useful in today’s environment. Being upcycled, all the materials and textiles used to make a brick have already been used previously, reducing the need to produce new and unnecessary material. The bricks can be used to decorate, insulate, or construct in a wide range of different environments; with the glue itself giving the bricks both waterproof and heatproof properties to ensure the highest quality and protection in all scenarios.

Since starting the project back in 2017 before the creation of the company in 2018, Clarisse and the company has made over 40,000 bricks – these of which have been used all around the world for a plethora of different objects and creations in varying conditions. With some bricks being used for construction, others have been used for elements of interior design and even furniture; with each piece often highlighting aspects of the Fabbrick in situ and how it has been used to compliment aesthetic features of design through recycled materials.


In the words of Clarisse Merlet:

"One initiative that particularly inspired me is Béa Johnson's Zero Waste Home blog, which promotes the “zero waste” lifestyle. According to her: "The best waste is the one that does not exist!". In this vein, the FabBRICK project aims to reduce textile waste by transforming it into construction material. Knowing that the cotton present in our clothes is very insulating!

In addition, this material already has a considerable carbon impact during its life ... For example, for a jacket sold in Europe, cotton is grown in Uzbekistan, spun in Turkey, woven in Taiwan, the fabric is printed. in France, then the jacket is assembled in Bulgaria before being sold in Germany ..."


Here is a short video of Clarisse speaking to members from the company Mini Cooper, breaking down the reasons for inventing the Fabbrick and why it means so much to her.