Turns unwanted textiles into jobs

An industrious group of innovative people in Italy is taking textile leftovers and transforming them into stylish, ready-to-wear garments, in the process creating jobs and opportunities.

Social innovation and enterprise is all about using business ideas to help society. The Quid project in Verona, Italy, exemplifies this, taking material discarded by textile producers in northern Italy and turning it into collections. These are then sold in its two shops under its own brand and through other big stores in Italy.

Quid’s growth can be seen in its financial results, with turnover of EUR 240 000 in 2014, and forecast turnover for 2015 of EUR 330 000. Cooperation is a key component in this success.

«Separately, we’ve set up partnerships with known brands in Italy, who have joined our project», says Anna Fiscal, Quid’s founder.

Everyone stands to benefit from social enterprise, as one staff member, Emma, says: «I was in prison for an offence. I learned a lot of things, including working with Anna and the other girls who showed me the project. That gave me the opportunity to leave prison and get a job.» The project’s 15 workers are mainly women in vulnerable situations.

The EU has recognised Quid’s success, with the project scooping a European Social Innovation award. Any industry can take part, as Xavier Le Mounier, the competition’s organiser points out: «You can get a prize of EUR 50 000, you can get support in terms of mentoring and coaching, you can find business partners.»

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