Philippe Gaboriau, co-founder of the company Alegina.
HB / 20 minutes
Three Vendéens created in 2018 Alegina, a start-up which wishes to offer an outlet for the oyster shell.
The three leaders mainly developed the manufacture of porcelain with oyster shells.
Building on their success, they are planning to create a 4.0 factory in Vendée for 2023.
They decided to give the oyster shell a second life.
Philippe Gaboriau, former territorial official and former mayor of a commune in Vendée, Thierry Didelon, at the head of Didelon machine tools in Poiré-sur-Vie (Vendée), and Dominique Girardeau, ceramist, joined forces in 2018 to create , Alegina.
From oyster shells, this Vendée start-up has developed three types of materials: a porcelain paste, a pavement coating and a substrate for a green roof.
"We consider oysters as a raw material and not as waste," insists Philippe Gaboriau.
We propose to reclaim the shell, it is a project that has won over the oyster farming profession.
This is ultimately the best way for there to be a sorting gesture.
Oyster farmers are asking for just that.
190,000 T of oysters are produced in France each year.
- HB / 20 minutes
It was at the end of 2016 that the three partners had this idea.
“There are little lights that sometimes come on…”, smiles Philippe Gaboriau, who admits to having always had “a passion for seashells” and “a certain environmental sensitivity”.
Until the creation of the company in 2018, the three men kept informed, made contacts, discovered, and wondered a lot: “Is there really a market?
What can be done with these shells?
"They take" a few bowls ", according to Philippe Gaboriau's own admission.
With a laboratory, for example, it did not work.
The difficulties increase tenfold the desire to succeed of the three men.
Especially since they are supported in particular by the Pays-de-la-Loire region.
A high quality porcelain very popular already
For porcelain, they work with ceramists based in… Limoges.
The paste, called Kaomer, gives a high quality porcelain used to design jewelry, tableware services etc.
Confidentiality requires, Philippe Gaboriau does not wish to say more about the manufacturing process.
“The world of luxury, plastic artists, starred chefs, etc.
come to us.
Contracts are currently being finalized.
»Orders are multiplying… The production unit located in Poiré-sur-Vie will quickly become too small.
So much so that the three partners, who will soon be four, are planning the construction of a 4.0 factory on an area of 2,000 to 3,000 m2, by 2023 around La Roche-sur-Yon.
The managers, now surrounded by a chemical engineer and many service providers (designers, ceramists, etc.), are planning to raise funds of three million euros by the end of the year to finance this project.
It now remains to manage the supply of oyster shells.
Some 190,000 tonnes are produced in France each year;
130,000 tonnes are marketed.
Most of these shells are cremated or buried.
"It is an economic and ecological solution which does not hold", regrets Philippe Gaboriau.
Discussions were thus initiated with the various communities to find a sustainable collection channel, which would guarantee a raw material in quantity and quality.
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