The Polyfloss Factory project was developed at the Royal College of Art in London in 2011. The team, comprising Audrey Gaulard (textile and robotic designer), Nick Paget (industrial designer), Christophe Machet (mechanical systems engineer and designer) and Émile De Visscher (materials science engineer and designer), was exploring ecological issues and decided to devise a process for recycling plastic at a local level. After conducting various tests, the designers discovered that one of the interesting features of plastic was that it could form foam – a property which is difficult to achieve with any other everyday material. They therefore decided to produce foam from recycled plastic using a method similar to candy floss making. The Polyfloss Factory has worked with a number of institutions and schools in the United Kingdom and abroad, setting up workshops and developing new uses.
In 2018, Ndao Hanavao invites the Polyfloss Factory, represented by French designers Christophe Machet and Émile de Visscher, to establish and develop their Polyfloss machine concept in Antananarivo, in order to set up an ongoing incubation, experimentation and training laboratory aimed at the transformation of plastic waste, a major local issue. In 2019, Audrey Gaulard and Nick Paget join the adventure.
Plastic waste collected from the waste dumps of Antananarivo and sorted by a network of collectors then enters the production phase in the workshop set up by the two guest designers and young trainees, where the recycled plastic is transformed into finished products such as design pieces and staple items. The plastic is also sold in the form of panels, wool, rolls of felt, etc. as a building material and as a raw material for local crafts.