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At bilum, having a positive impact, both environmentally and socially, is at the heart of our business.
As an upcycling manufacturer, working in short circuits, locally and 100% in France, our ecological footprint is very low. 
Beyond this obvious fact, we wanted to go further and calculate it. Here we present a study of the life cycle of our products.

Take 1mn40 to discover our video and understand everything about the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) of our products.

Figures 1st semester 2024

UnderstandING LCA

"LCA identifies and quantifies the physical flows of matter and energy associated with human activities throughout the life of a product". (source ADEME)

To calculate its LCA environmental footprint, bilum was assisted by La Belle Empreinte, an ADEME-accretited company.

At bilum, we give a second life to materials destinated for destruction : those that have had a initial life or sleepping stocks. The impact of manufacture has therefore already been accounted for (during their firt use).

The reuse by bilum avoids the fabrication of new raw materials, and therefore cancels out manufacturing steps.

As part of an LCA calculation, the impact of upcycled materials on the production of material is valued at  0.

To understand this gap, we need to follow the life cycle of our products, wich is : 

  • Production and transformation (weaving, printing, coating) of our raw materials: valued at 0

  • Production of accessories and supplies (zips, buckles, protective foam, lining, handles, etc;) from French suppliers whenever possible

  • 100% French manufacturing. see concept

  • Logistics: recovery of materials, transport to workshops and final delivery

  • Stages of use of the product by the consummer especially maintenance (washing)

  • End-of-life (elimination or reuse)

By paying attention to each of these stages, bilum can offer you a wide range of products whose environmental footprint is around 80% smaller than an equivalent product using average materials.  

A few figures : the backpack tarp

The carbon footprint of our backpack tarp, 80% lower than a standard backpack, is explained principally by : 

  • Production of raw materials*, accessories and supplies :

1.1 kg CO2 eq for our product versus 9 kg CO2 eq for the average product

  • Transformation of raw materials*, accessories and supplies : 

Weaving, printing, coating, etc : 3,2 kg CO2 eq vs 12,1 kg CO2 eq for our product

  • 100% French manufacturing : 
0.03 kg CO2 eq vs 0.4 kg CO2 eq for the average product, thanks to France's low-carbon electricity mix

And also, from a social point of view, 70 minutes work in France.

*At bilum, raw materials are valued at 0 kg CO2 eq.

The blue water footprint of the backpack tarp is mainly illustrated by : 

1/ Production and processing of raw materials, accessories and supplies

  • No raw materials needs to be produced, such as the cotton that is traditionally used and wich consumes a lot of water.
  • The dyeing of our accessories and our cleaning use very little water, and are done by hand using a green detergent. (Our textile fabrics are washed in specialised ESAT laundries). 

5.1 L for our product versus 233.3 L for the average product

2/ The use of the bag : 

  • hand washing by the consumer

7.3 L for our product versus 14.7 L for the average product

So of the 12.4 litres of blue water in our total footprint, 7.3 litres (59%) are attributed by official studies (Belle Empreinte and Ademe) to use by consumers when washing their bags. 
This means that YOU can reduce the blue footprint of this bag by more than half by being vigilant when cleaning it. 
In this case, the backpack only needs a quick wipe down. 

The study and video were produced with financial support from ADEME as part of the Recovery Plan.

If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them at the following e-mail adress : store@bilum.fr