All the profit is reinvested, so Humana Nova contributes to the sustainable development of the local community, which is its main objective.
Irresponsible textile waste management and exclusion of people with disabilities and other marginalized groups from the labour market are two society problems for which Humana Nova wanted to find a solution. Its objectives are promoting and supporting social inclusion, developing and validating work integration models, contributing to creating a more tolerant society, but also taking care of our environment through collecting, recycling, and reusing textile surpluses.
With more than half people being people with disabilities (22/38) and members of other marginalized groups (12/38) like national minorities or long-term unemployed elderly people Humana Nova is continuously reaching one of the objectives.
On the other side, it is collecting, reusing and recycling more than 400 tons of textile annually, therefore reaching the environmental objective. Main
stakeholders are employees which are getting the opportunity and are removed from the verge of poverty and social exclusion. Working in Humana Nova changes their life and life of their families, gives them confidence and an opportunity to reach their full potential. By combining ecological and social elements, Humana Nova is developing a sustainable business model with an impact on local and national levels. Besides reusing, production and sale of quality textile products made from recycled fabrics.
To start running, the cooperative in 2011. 50 000 Eur were required. Today cooperative has 38 employees (22 people with disabilities), and it makes monthly revenue cca 75 000 Eur. In 2012. when the cooperative started running business there were 8 employed people.
Evidence of success
Today Humana Nova and it’s work integration model employs 38 people, of which 22 are people with disabilities and 12 from other marginalized groups. As for the environmental level, our textile waste management model is taking care of 400 tons of textile annually, thus giving a local community the option to take care of the environment. Most people are willing to donate their used clothes.
Challenges in Croatia are related to non-existing additional support for social entrepreneurship and financial instruments. In our case, there is also the waste law which is still on a basic level with no support for reuse and recycling process.
Potential for learning or transfer
Textile waste is an equally big problem all around the world. Number of textile surpluses will grow if more energy is not devoted to solving it. Recycling is one of several solutions that is effective which can be implemented at the local and the national level. When it comes to people with disabilities and other marginalized groups, they are facing the same problems – having difficulties finding employment and are therefore relegated to the marginal role in society which deprives them of opportunities for personal and professional development. Problems found in our local society can be found in other countries, but so can be solutions. Taking two important issues that concern people and the planet and trying to solve one with another can be a recipe to substituting deficiencies which each of them has. In other words, what can be done is turning weaknesses into strengths to achieve economic prosperity for sustainable management and reinvestment of profit.
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