Label Emmaüs defends its cooperative model of circular and solidarity e-commerce


It is particularly difficult for a cooperative-type structure to raise funds from investors whose criteria are not necessarily suitable. However, Label Emmaüs managed to complete a funding round of 1.5 million euros with impact investors: Banque des Territoires, France Active, Mirova, INCO Ventures (mobilizing the funds Sycomore Impact Emploi by INCO and Abeille Impact Investing France) and the head of the Emmaüs France network.

The objective is to allow Label Emmaüs to change scale in the development of its solidarity circular e-commerce marketplace and its logistics platforms.

New view of the world of finance

“There really needs to be a change of outlook from the investment world if we’re going to create real social impact through the kind of models we’re trying to develop. Funding organizations, especially when they are public, should have other allocation criteria or reserve a piece of the wallet for structures like ours”explains Maud Sarda, co-founder and director of Label Emmaüs.

The absence of added value at the exit slows down the contributions of traditional finance in the cooperatives. For this fundraiser, it was therefore necessary for the first second-hand marketplace in the SSE sector to offer financing in equity securities, assimilated to equity and repayable at least after 7 years.

Rediscover the Emmaus reflex

In any case, this fundraising appears to be a good breath of fresh air for Label Emmaüs, faced with fierce competition from other second-hand e-commerce players. According to Maud Sarda, « the desire is to exist online to attract generations who no longer have the Emmaus reflex, but also to show our ecosystem that we can do things differently, earn a living while helping populations in situations of precariousness. ».

Hence the shock campaign carried out in March 2023 on Vinted with real fake ads that diverted Vinted’s slogan « You don’t wear it, give it away », from the Emma Us account. Faced with this competition, donations are in smaller effect and of lower quality because people entrust Emmaus with what they cannot sell elsewhere.

Logistics and professional development

With this fundraising, Label Emmaüs also wants to develop its logistics and storage warehouses in order to be able to offer a collection service for customer returns, which represent up to a quarter of the stock of e-merchants who have difficulty reintegrating them into their sales channel.

At the same time, it will make it possible to continue the activities of the School Label created in 2019 to offer a professional reintegration model with free training in new e-commerce professions, in particular UI designer, to people in difficulty and far from employment. .

Particular emphasis will finally be placed on communication around these investment models because with all the savings available in France, which the Banque de France estimated at 53.0 billion euros in the second quarter of 2022, « this would have a real contribution to the values ​​of the Emmaus movement of social innovation and solidarity to help people in very precarious situations »emphasizes Maud Sarda.


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