Cascades recovers all fibres, even those that we wear!

Certex: a company with a strong social fibre

At Cascades, we know all about paper and cardboard fibres. We are less familiar with textile fibres, but we are becoming more interested in them. It has been 25 years since we started La Cascaderie to help dress our employees. For the last few years, we have included a set of ethical purchasing criteria to our buying process—and we are currently preparing a very special fashion show that will put the spotlight on the eco-designers that we work with. Our next step? Encouraging textile recovery!

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Certex: a company with a strong social fibre

We recently established a partnership with Certex, a social economy enterprise based in Saint‑Hubert, Quebec, Canada. For the last 20 years, Certex has specialized in textile recovery and recycling. Thanks to its partnership with Cascades, Certex will add seven donation locations to its current list of twelve. Over the coming weeks, seven donation bins will be installed at nine of our Quebec units. Note that the bins will be accessible to our employees and to the general public.

1- Cascades in Kingsey Falls
2- Cascades Tissue Group – Candiac
3- Cascades Groupe Tissu – Papersource
4- Norampac – Viau

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A fundamentally humane management style

I recently visited Certex’s factory, and I was very impressed. Since I have visited sorting centres before, I was expecting something similar, but it was very different.

Certex mainly employs people who have intellectual or physical functional limitations. Its team is made up of some 140 people. The company pulls out all the stops to ensure that their work days are pleasant by providing large spaces – colourful, soon! -, access to a wonderful new cafeteria and healthy snacks. In addition, every Wednesday, employees can go home with a basket of food, thanks to an agreement between the company and a food bank located on Montréal’s South Shore.

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Tonnes of used clothes, shoes and textiles

Certex recovers 6,000 tonnes of textiles annually. Some of the clothing recovered can be found in thrift stores or in the hands of eco-designers. Some of it ends up as industrial rags (this is what happens to pieces of clothing with holes), and the rest is sent overseas to developing countries.

The portion sent overseas is managed with small local merchants. This practice aims to prevent harming the local textile market, if one exists. Doing business with many small foreign buyers requires more management, but Certex is convinced that it is fairer to the people on the receiving end.

Birds of a feather flock together

Certex is similar to Cascades in many ways. Both companies are devoted to giving a second life to tonnes and tonnes of material. In this light, forging a partnership was completely logical.

You have clothing that you would like to get rid of? Check out the list of Certex donation bin locations in Quebec. Certex also has partnerships with about 300 organizations in Quebec (thrift stores, community centres, waste sorting and recovery centres, church basements) that they work closely with. So it is quite possible that what you bring to your local thrift store might end up at Certex!

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About the Author
Marie-Eve Chapdelaine

Marie-Eve Chapdelaine is a specialist in sustainable development and has worked at Cascades since 2006. She is particularly interested in building public awareness and changing attitudes regarding social and environmental issues. In her role at Cascades, Marie-Eve uses her expertise to inform, guide and support her colleagues in maintaining the company’s leadership position in sustainable development. She has earned an undergraduate degree in public communications from Université Laval and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environment at Université de Sherbrooke. “I’ve always been interested in environmental causes, but also in social issues. Sustainable development allows me to pursue both interests at once. What better than to work at Cascades, a beacon in this area, and a company that is open to implementing all sorts of measures to improve performance and maintain its leadership position.” Because she believes every citizen needs to take responsibility for improving their living environment, Marie-Eve is also socially engaged, sitting on several community boards and committees.

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