Meeting with Monia, founder of the Atelier Regain

On the occasion of the release of our upcycled Palm bag in collaboration with Atelier Regain , we went to Marseille to the workshop to discover the behind the scenes of how the bag was made.

A look back at our meeting with Monia, founder of Atelier Regain!

(1) Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Monia and I am the founder of Atelier Regain in Marseille.

(2) Can you tell us the history of the workshop?

Atelier Regain was launched at the end of December 2021. Previously, I was in Paris and I worked on an upcycling project in collaboration with Emmaüs, particularly in reintegration projects around sewing. When I arrived in Marseille, I was put in contact, via Emmaüs France, with the former director of Frippe Insertion. During our discussions, the idea came to extend Frippe Insertion's activity to textile upcycling.

(3) How many are you in the workshop?

We are seven women: four seamstresses in professional reintegration, a colleague in charge of communication, another being more in touch with the seamstresses. As for me, I supervise the activity.

(4) Which profiles do you welcome in the workshop?

Jobs are open to women, with priority given to single mothers. The profiles are varied in the team. We welcome people on the basis of criteria linked to difficulties in finding a job in the traditional circuit. In general, these criteria include people with disabilities, those who have recently arrived in France and still have difficulty with the French language, as well as those who have been unemployed for a long time and who are having difficulty re-entering the job market.

(5) What types of skills do people learn in the workshop?

For the women on the team, most already knew how to sew before, they share a common love for sewing. They were able to develop their sewing skills. In addition, they discovered the gymnastics that textile upcycling represents, by creating new things from already existing things.

(6) What types of pieces do you create in the workshop ?

We mainly manufacture clothing, but also accessories and household linen, for women, men, and children, especially babies. If I had to define our style, I would say that our cuts are quite sober and refined, but we use rather colorful fabrics. We make sure our pieces are cool and desirable.

(7) How did the collaboration with Nénés come about?

It was Léna, one of the members of the Nénés team with whom we have worked since the beginning, who discovered our work on Instagram. Nénés had defective pants that they didn't want to throw away and so were looking to upcycle them. We met, we talked, and that’s how the Palm bag was born.

(8) Can you tell us more about the bag making process?

Nénés wanted to start creating an accessory. The idea was to use as much fabric as possible. This is how this bag was born, with the bow detail!

For this type of production, we work on an assembly line, and each has a specific step!

(9) Eco-responsibility is at the heart of each of your projects, can you tell us more?

I started in fashion in a more traditional way. I was skeptical about the way of collections are produced with rhythms and quantities that did not correspond to the reality of human needs. I myself bought second hand, it seemed logical to me to first use what already existed. Before working in fashion, I was a special education teacher. I have always had this interest in linking sewing and people.

(10) Quels sont vos projets à l’Atelier Regain ?

On n'a pas de grand projets mais on aimerait se développer et continuer de produire pour d'autres clients professionnels comme on le fait avec Nénés aujourd'hui.

À court terme, on aimerait beaucoup que ce projet avec Nénés rayonne et fasse rayonner l'Atelier !

Thank you to the Regain workshop team for welcoming us so warmly.

Nénés is proud to have upcycled Palm pants into pretty bags for the summer!

This way to shop your essential summer bag👇🏼