Entering the CORAIL° Lab means going down to the engine room. In this large hangar, located on the port of Jaï, in Marignane, a few meters from where the boats leave, some days for fishing, others for the collection of plastics, is the nerve center of the operation of recycling and recovery of marine waste. The first thing that strikes you on entering is the activity: the CORAIL° Lab is an anthill, not for a second without bringing in the spoils of the last plastic harvest, the bottles collected by a partner association, which fishing nets are crushed there or someone comes by to collect plastic flakes intended to be transformed into sneakers. This independent microcosm within the port is managed by the CORAIL° fishing team, who control the recycling chain from the bottle to the crushing.
The CORAIL° Lab is organized in a way that makes it possible to follow the flow of marine litter: when it comes out of the boat or the bags sent by the associations, it is first stored and sorted according to the use to which it is put. will be done. Colorless transparent bottles will be used to make fabric. They are separated from the opaque, colored bottles, caps and labels that will be used for the manufacture of the soles.
The waste is then shredded in second-hand machines in which the brand invested at the very beginning of the project, to control the recycling chain directly. They first pass through a first crusher which will transform them into large shavings, then a second to obtain finer flakes, ideal to be used in the manufacture of a pair of sneakers. The flakes thus obtained are stored in long tubes, before being sent to Portugal, within a family artisan workshop which will reintegrate them into future pairs of CORAIL°.
The history of CORAIL° Lab is in perpetual motion, from storage and sorting space, it became a crushing and recycling center in 2020. To the transparent bottles, were added opaque bottles, caps and labels which are often set aside and incinerated in conventional sorting channels. In 2022, CORAIL° succeeded after years of research and trials, in recycling fishing nets. "Fishing nets have been an obsession for us since the start of the project," explains Paul Guedj, co-founder of the project, "it's one of the main macro-waste present at sea and we've come up against a multitude of doors closed when we were looking for recycling channels. It was a huge frustration, we were literally sitting on tons of abandoned fishing nets that we couldn't do anything about. So we decided to manage it ourselves, we chained the grinding tests with our team of fishermen, on nets of different sizes, made of different materials, and we finally managed to grind them, mid-2022. We popped the champagne that day. Thanks to this innovation, the brand has been able to develop a new innovative material, SEADUST, a mixture of plastic bottles and crushed fishing nets, subjected to a series of rigorous tests to guarantee its quality, and used in all new models.
Corail makes sneakers from recycled material. 50% of that material is recycled plastic bottles collected from the sea near Marseille by a crew of fishermen. Corail pays a monthly flat fee to these fishermen for the material and visits the fishermen about once every two months. The other 50 per cent of the material is also recycled plastic from France. The trainers are made honestly in a family workshop near Porto in Portugal. Corail has a number of styles such as the Line 90, Celsius 70 and Origins. All these sneakers are sustainably produced and available at Sunika.