Gainerie 91 puts collaborative manufacturing at the core of its care for the environment.
The leading maker of exclusive luxury cases and displays is harnessing the talent of handpicked startups Cuir Marin de France, Sericyne and Arca to innovate in a sustainable manner.
Arnaud Haefelin has no doubt that for young blood and big brands alike the future is in collaborative manufacturing. As the CEO of Gainerie 91 puts it, “It’s not just about forming partnerships but really working together and developing products in a totally inclusive way.” The goal is more transparency, more traceability and more synergy. Putting its money where its mouth is, every year the firm holds its Gainerie 91 Design Competition to throw the spotlight on up-and-coming creators. Winning concepts entered by students are then given the means to become reality.
In the same vein, this year saw the launch of an exclusive partnership with the Sainte-Geneviève secondary school. “Pupils have already had to come up with watch, jewellery, perfume and wines & spirits cases with biomimetic opening/closing mechanisms. Three concepts, all directly inspired by nature, were chosen. In the coming months we will be making and marketing prototypes of the winning ideas – using 100% sustainable materials, of course.”
The virtuous knowledge circle
Gainerie 91 is also looking to work with other potential stakeholders: “To limit our impact on the environment and use resources as sustainably as we can, we’ve chosen to work with startups that are the best at what they do.” A case in point is Arca. The pioneering French cabinetmaker has explored numerous applications around the plasticity of wood. One of its inventions, WooWood (which came out of its inflatable AirWood), is right along the grain: “Like animal scales the wood is inlaid and stretched out using an elastic sheet that perfectly moulds itself to the shape of a given object.” The end result, for instance on a spirits case, is simply stunning.
Of salmon leather & bonded silk
Proof that all’s fish that comes to the net, Sericyne and Cuir Marin de France have also wormed their way into Gainerie 91’s good graces. “With Cuir Marin de France we made a prototype of a luxury case from salmon leather, which is similar to crocodile, alligator or snake skin.” Collaboration with Sericyne and its raw nonwoven silk was equally smooth. “The silk is completely natural and can be worked into any shape. We used it to make the interior trimmings of a perfume box, and other ideas for leading brands are already in the works.”