Clarisse Merlet, founder FabBRICK: ”Don’t throw away your textile waste: give it a second life!”

Clarisse Merlet founded FabBRICK during her time as an architecture student, driven by the high level of pollution in the construction industry. FabBRICK started as her diploma project and has now evolved into a business with a multidisciplinary team capable of recycling 10 tons of textile materials per year.

A portion of the FabBRICK team will be present on the stage of the Climate Change Summit, the largest event in Central and Eastern Europe dedicated to climate change, scheduled to take place from October 19 to 20 in Bucharest. Over the course of these two days, dozens of leaders in climate innovation and environmental policies, researchers, entrepreneurs, and government officials will come together in a collective effort to find local and regional solutions for a sustainable future. The event is open to the public, and registrations can be made at

About a sustainable business, initiated through the awareness of a problem, about the journey and future plans, but also about this fall’s Summit, Clarisse tells us more in the following interview.


Clarisse, in your opinion, what are the most pressing challenges and opportunities in achieving sustainability in the construction sector, and how can they be addressed?


I think the biggest challenge is to change the perception of the industry regarding sustainable material. 

But also change the way final customers perceive materials that have been used for decades: Make them realise that these materials are heavily polluting and energy-intensive. That we need now to learn how to replace them with greener materials.

Photo credit: Dorian Prost


How can the public and private sectors collaborate effectively to drive sustainable transformation in the construction industry?


For several decades, the industry sector has been built on a linear economic model following this step : natural resource extraction, transformation, consumption and end of life. 

The concept of circular economy is relatively new. There is still a lot of education to be done with both public and private sectors so that everyone knows the ‘recycling roads’ and be able to guide its waste towards the right channel.


You founded FabBRICK during your time as a student. What made you want to start your own business?


I have never planned to have my own business, but it kinda fell onto me as I progressed with the idea that I had. That idea became a brick and the brick became FabBRICK. It’s a never ending learning process.  The further I go,  the more I learn about myself, and about what’s like to be a businesswoman.


How has FabBRICK evolved since its inception, and what is its current role in the industry?


At the beginning of the project, I was alone on all fronts, handling brick production, accounting, administration, customer relations, etc. In 5 years, I’ve managed to build up a multidisciplinary team of 7 people, including sales people, designers, engineers and material debtors. 

Thanks to the complementary nature of this team, we are now able to recycle around 10 tons of textiles a year, from all types of fabric. We have developed a range of recycled textile products such as wall coverings, acoustic panels, made-to-measure furniture and more.


How did you come up with the idea of reusing discarded clothes, making it an innovative raw material?


When I was a student in architecture,  I noticed how much construction is a polluting and energy-intensive industry, so I decided to find a way to build differently, especially with the use of raw material wastes such as plastic bottles, cardboard or plastic cups.

Then, I figured out that the textile industry was poorly considering 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 I had the idea of reusing discarded clothes by making it an innovative raw material. Based on the characteristics of the recovered textiles, I designed an ecological building material both thermal and acoustic insulator.

Photo credit: Dorian Prost


What was the hardest part of your trip to FabBRICK so far?


The hardest part for me is how to delegate, surrounding myself with talented people to go even further with my idea.


What are the future plans for FabBRICK, especially in terms of sustainability?


We want to recycle more and more textile waste, by growing the company we will be able to recycle and produce more FabBRICK’ Bricks. Therefore bring more sustainable projects within the construction industry.


Part of your team will be present at the Climate Change Summit. Can you share some ideas from their presentation? How will they try to convince the public of the importance of climate change?


Chantal (our head engineer) and Farid (Head of sales) will be present on FabBRICK’s name. They are both already speakers and have been conducting key notes and panel discussion and are our ambassador alongside me of FabBRICK.

We will share our journey creating a new innovative green material to act on fighting against shortage of resources and finding a solution to textile waste.


In conclusion, leave us a key message on sustainable construction and the FabbRICK contribution.


That is time we change the way we do things, solutions exist out there. Don’t throw away your textile waste: give it a second life!


Editor: Mara Rusu