Recycling, Employment of Excluded Social Groups and Social Mobilization

Varazdin, Koprivnica, Cakovec, CroatiaVarazdin, Koprivnica, Cakovec
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Social Cooperative Humana Nova encourages the employment of the disabled and other socially excluded persons through the production and selling of textile products made from ecological and recycled fabrics. University North provides capacity building of care providers and professional staff in all partner organizations and develops business model, branding, marketing and communication.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Croatia alone produces 135 000 tonns of textile waste annualy. In underdeveloped waste management system, including very low rate of reuse and recycling, there is a need to address this and other materials. There is also limited access to job market of underprivileged and socialy excluded social groups and individuals. In adition, awareness and visibility of related environmental and social problems is very low, as is the knowledge about social enterprenuership.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Setting up of Reuse and Recycling Centers in three Croatian counties that employ disabled and other socially excluded persons through the production and selling of quality and innovative products made from ecological and recycled fabrics. Providing capacity building for partner organizations and developing of business model, branding, marketing and communication, including public education campaings, social mobilization and multimedia and social media tools.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Collecting, sorting and recycling of textiles has many positive effects: - reduced need for landfill disposal, which directly affects the climate change (e.g., woolen clothing does not disintegrate, but produces methane, which contributes to global warming); - reduced the need for the production of fabrics - having in mind that textiles are collected, sorted and distributed mostly locally, reducing the impact on environmental pollution due to limited transportation; - less burden on household budgets due to the less expensive textile products and clothing.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The goal is to set up REUSE Centers for collecting and processing and recycling of the following materials: textile, paper, furniture, household and electronic waste and intensify contribution by citizens trough communication and social mobilization campaigns. The increased workload in the centers will provide job opportunities for increased number of beneficiaries from underprivileged and socially excluded groups. Young urban population related to university activities will be involved in projects and included in awareness and education campaigns. Overall, in 4 counties included, beneficiary population amounts to more than 500.000 inhabitants with the potential to be widened to national and regional (SEE) level.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Although there are public institutions and CSO addressing both problems (waste management and socially excluded groups unemployment), this is the only cluster in the country and the region that addresses both problems in a holistic manner.


Project coordinator is based in University North; Project partners are delegating steering committee members and external consultant is included in project elaboration, monitoring and evaluation.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Humana Nova
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Organization Name

Humana Nova

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Basic Info
Project Starting Year
Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, 05, Varazdin, Koprivnica, Cakovec

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Inclusive supply chains: Entries in this category implement efficient, sustainable and inclusive supply chains, Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?
Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

Partner 1
Social Cooperative Humana Nova is a leader of the social entrepreneurship and has been recognized in the wider regional scope. The work of the cooperative has actively and directly contributed to the establishing of a tolerant society and has in turn helped the socially excluded persons and their families in enhancing their self-reliability and the quality of life.

Partner 2
Corporate partner Regeneracija Zabok annualy deliver more than 27.000.000 m2of non-wovens to their customers, through a higher level of collection of textile materials, recycling, and its return to the production process, is placing great emphasis on ecology and environmental protection.

Partner 3
CEDRA - Cluster CSO for eco social innovation and development contributing to development of business model and awareness raisnig.

Partner 4
Centar Tomislav Spoljar - Center for education of children with special needs contributing to social inclusion of beneficiaries.

Partner 5
ČAKOM - Local Utility Company in Town of Čakovec, Croatia, contributing in logistics and waste collection.

Partner 6
CSO UZOR Koprivnica contributing in paper waste collection.

Partner 7
CSO Hamburger Recycling contributing in paper waste collection.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

By sorting, reusing and recycling of clothing and footwear, donors of goods have had a direct impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in the amount of 684.000,00 kg (generated by decomposition of textiles from landfill sites), they have reduced the use of,00 liters of drinking water, 57.000,00 kg fertilizers and 38.000,00 kg of pesticides in the production of raw materials for the manufacture of textiles!
So far, Humana Nova has employed 16 employees, of whom six are persons with disabilities, two are members of ethnic minorities, four are long-term unemployed middle aged women, one highly educated first time employed young textile designer, two long-term unemployed young mothers and a manager who is an educated economist and indirect beneficiares account to over hundred.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, NGOs, Businesses, Regional government, Customers.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The project is financially sustainable in the current phase. In order to meet the strategic objectives, additional funds would be needed.
The assumption is that these could be raised in the area of public support to multi-sector partnerships within EU funds.
In addition, the University would second its professionals for capacity building and campaign organizing activities.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

One of the founders of the Humana Nova cooperation is the Alumni of University North, active in civil society and involved in environmental protection and human rights advocacy. Since University North is a young institution with the strategy of contributing to the development of the entrepreneurship and corporate governance and capacity to engage a number of young professionals in the social development of the region as well as the leadership needed to sustain such initiatives, the opportunity was used to upgrade the project to the next level.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Funding problems related to limited university budget and ongoing cost cutting in private sector.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

Joint porject

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

Relations of the university with the civil society and businesses in the region will create additional value for the core activities of the university - education because new partners will be brought on board and will also be able to impact the learning process and share experiences with the students.
The partners will benefit from the seconded professionals from university in capacity building, skill development and stakeholder management as well as increased quality of relationships.

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