The holidays are coming! Bottles of wine will undoubtedly be present at your table. Yes, but afterwards? In Bordeaux, Thomas Pinet wondered about their future and founded Septembres. The company offers a second life to wine bottles by transforming them into decorative objects: lamps, glasses, candles and large vases.

Feat-Y: Tell us the story of Septembres!

Thomas Pinet : The commercialization of Septembres began in November 2019. I recover old wine bottles, which I transform into decorative objects. Some brands already do it, but only with one part of the bottle. No one uses the top: that intrigued me, so I thought about what could be created. That’s how I came up with the idea of lamps! Then I wondered what I was going to do with the bottom, and I imagined tapas glasses. As soon as I think of a product, I always wonder what happens to the top and bottom of the bottle!

Feat-Y: Why upcycling this particular product?

T.P.: I love wine, and I think a bottle in its wooden case is a beautiful object. I’ve been looking into what happens to these bottles once they’re empty and put in the dumpster. The glass colors are sorted and then the bottles are melted at over 1,000 degrees for recycling. This emits a lot of CO2. At my level, I wanted to try to reduce this impact by extending the life of this product. More than a year went by between my interest in the future of the bottles and the prototype. Moreover, it didn’t look at all like what the lamp is today!


Feat-Y: What is the process?

T.P.: I wanted to use the whole bottle. I take care of everything: cutting it with a diamond saw, sanding it and putting it in the box. The Bordeaux company Pic’Verre collects the bottles on a scooter, from private individuals and professionals. Their goal is to clean them in order to put them back into circulation. Pic’Verre also weighs the bottles, so it allows me to standardize my products more, and to work with bottles weighing between 450 and 550 grams. Below 400 grams, they break too easily.

Feat-Y: Why did you choose the name “Septembres”?

T.P. : There is of course a nod to the harvest period. The idea emerged in September, and the initial prototype was designed the following September. So there’s a personal connection with September. I also wondered what this month meant to the French. At this time of year, people make resolutions. It’s a “feel good” month, everyone can see what they want: that’s why I put an “s” at the end.

Feat-Y: Where does your inspiration to create these decorative objects come from?

T.P.: Everything starts with snippets of ideas, then we test them. I’ve worked a lot by trial and error. I have moments of reflection in rather unusual places: when I put my son to bed, in the shower, in the car…

Feat-Y: Producing locally is important to you.

T.P.: Yes! I work with a logistics warehouse in Bordeaux, which handles all shipments. 80% of my suppliers are in New Aquitaine. The wooden crates come from Bergerac, the aluminum parts are taken near Bordeaux and the cardboard lamp packaging is printed and made in the Médoc. Moreover, the person who creates the candles is based in the Médoc. The labels of the candles are printed in this same region and the wooden caps of the candles are designed in the basin of Arcachon. Only the cables and sockets do not come from France: they are made in Italy, in Turin.

Feat-Y: You also want to support social and solidarity actions.

T.P.: Yes! During mycrowfundingcampaign, I donated 5% of the money raised to La Cravate Solidaire, an association that erases all forms of discrimination related to employment. Volunteers collect work clothes or suits from signs, to enable candidates to have the best possible outfit for the interview. They also provide coaching to prepare for the interview. In addition, I choose my suppliers by working with ESATs, service and work aid establishments.

Feat-Y: How did you develop your ecological awareness?

T.P.: She came as she became curious about the project. First I started with the idea of a lamp, then I realized that it was still quite energy consuming, so I went further, creating the bottom of the bottle to make the glasses. I continued my thinking when I had to decide on the packaging [which can be transformed into a bird feeder or a hanging hanger for indoor flowers, N.D.L.R.] and the location of the producers.

Feat-Y : Quelle est votre mise à jour ?

T.P.: Starting Friday, December 4th, I will be at the Galeries Lafayette in Bordeaux for 15 days. I am developing water glasses. With the upper parts, I’m going to cut just at the neck to make photophores. I will also cut the necks in half to make covered rests. Later on, we would like to propose the lamps in Magnum format.

Feat-Y: Do you plan to upcycle another item?

T.P.: Within two to three years, yes! We can make leather with the waste from the winegrowers’ grapes. Why not create a range of leather goods! I wouldn’t exclude going a little further with the winegrowers: ask them what is their biggest waste, and try to find out how to reuse it… There are also a lot of oysters in the region, maybe there is something to do with the shell.

Interviewed by Mélanie Domergue

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