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Money-saver: Sports gear at a discount in France

Lack of funds are no longer a reason not to keep active, thanks to an association that collects and sells used sporting equipment

Approximately 186,000 tonnes of sports equipment is put on sale each year in France, with 104,000 tonnes thrown away, according to the Ademe environmental agency Pic: New Africa / Shutterstock

The Recyclerie Sportive became the first store to specialise in recycled sporting goods in 2015, and now has shops in the Paris region, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Grenoble and Roubaix. 

More than 40 sports are represented, from cycling and hiking gear to tennis rackets and home gym equipment. Clothes, shoes and more, in good condition, are on average a third of the price they would cost if bought new.

The goal is to support the ‘circular economy’ and reduce waste. The association works with clubs, as well as appealing to individuals.

Membership costs €5 per year, which gives access to the different shops, as well as the option to buy individual parts to repair your equipment. For €25 (€15 for students and those on low incomes), you also have the option of attending workshops, where you can learn to repair a bike, scooter, skis, tennis racket and more, depending on the site.

The association encourages people to get involved by organising a collection of equipment people are no longer using in sports centres or at the office. You can also make donations directly in one of the stores.

Partnerships with large retailers, such as Décathlon and Go Sport, allow them to collect used, faulty or unsold items, which they can repair if necessary, and then sell at a reduced price. Other donations come from associations, businesses and institutions.

Find more information and a complete list of locations at recyclerie-sportive.org.

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