RENEW2020 is a European project that gives young people and people from disadvantaged groups entrepreneurial skills which encourage them to seize the opportunities of the circular economy related to re-use, repair and upcycling. A group of 25 students takes part on training sessions across Europe and visits local social enterprises, design studios and waste management companies. Through an online learning platform and direct consultations they get first-hand information about waste prevention and innovative business models.
RREUSE, as one of the project partners feeds in information about European policy and examples of social entrepreneurship in re-use and repair. In February RREUSE hosted a project meeting in Brussels which was an opportunity to visit two re-use facilities from the network.
De Kringwinkel Televil in Vilvoorde belongs to a wider network of re-use centres and second-hand shops spread over the whole Flemish region. De Kringwinkels collect and resell all kinds of re-usable items including electronics, furniture, textile, books and bric-a-brac. Convenient customer service, quality second-hand products and strong visual identity make De Kringwinkel an iconic brand known by probably every Flemish person. De Kringwinkel Televil with seven shops in the region around Brussels creates 300 job and training positions for people at risk of social exclusion.
The second visit was at a textile sorting plant in Charleroi run by the social enterprise Terre. This large-scale installation with a capacity to process up to 16 000 tonnes of textile per year is where the abstract talks about our textile consumption turn into a concrete image. Terre collects used textile in 239 municipalities in Wallonia and Brussels and supports over 200 jobs. Re-use social enterprises from the Wallonia and Brussels are federated in the network Ressources. Sixty members of Ressources collect around 140 000 tonnes of material per year and put 2.3 kg of second-hand goods per capita back on the second-hand market.
About the project partner:
- Humana Nova (Croatia) is a social cooperative producing upcycled and sustainable textile products
- INTESA-CCA (Italy) is an association of 40 cooperatives active in green economy, manufacturing, professional training, education, social inclusion
- Contarina (Italy) responsible for waste management in the Italian province of Treviso is one of the European best practice in separate collection and prevention of waste
- AIDIMME (Spain) is a Technology Institute on Wood and related industries with experience in development of national system of professional qualifications.
- SUPERUSE STUDIOS (Netherlands) is a pioneer company in the field of sustainable design recognized also for providing ‘open source’ methods and tools to the design community
This project is funded by the European Union (Erasmus+)