My name is Driss Yousfi, I worked as leader of Decathlon's Workshop services in the East Paris stores.
We found it incredibly enjoyable, my team of technicians and I, keeping our users satisfied by repairing and maintaining their sports equipment. Nonetheless, one thing saddened me every day: seeing and noticing that many bikes and items of sports equipment were being thrown away simply due to a lack of spare parts or simply due to the excesses of the "satisfied or your money back" policy.
The environment is sacred, what could be worse than seeing Btwin bike frames in a landfill site...
I spoke to Marc, a friend who has been developing an association for the last few months. I am a member of this association, which focuses on recycling and re-using sports equipment and helping young people to integrate through work. I asked him if we could work together on these sports equipment waste issues at Decathlon.
A few weeks later, with my technician team, we decided that his association would pick up old bikes that couldn't be mended with the aim of dismantling them piece by piece. The association's members could then re-use these parts to make new bikes and promote non-motorised travel in the neighbourhoods, as well as turning these objects into artistic creations.
The association does far more than just salvaging sports "waste" since it raises awareness and encourages young people to take up sports. To this end, it organises Cross Fit and running sessions in city parks.
The Decathlon Foundation financed sports gear so we could start a cycling school, run Cross Fit sessions and buy mechanical tools to re-assemble the bikes. The Recyclerie Sportive recycling centre now has EcoBoxes at partner Decathlon stores in Paris, to encourage customers to bring back their old equipment. And it's a real success!
Story told by Decathlon teammate Driss Yousfi..