Knof Institute for Creative Development - a social enterprise

'Growing beauty out of trash' Knof Instagram post

Knof is a social enterprise with a focus on circularity and sustainability.

It has now been in operation for 14 years and has developed into a business organisation with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of environmental, social and economic challenges, geared towards sustainable development.

Knof has already opened five Stara Šola reuse boutiques, using a market model that has positive effects on the environment, the local economy and the community. Now, it is turning to a new project: establishing the first circular laboratory in Slovenia in the city of Krško.

The circular laboratory is a training ground for developing and testing circular business models and designing products and services to reduce waste generation. It also has a circular space of over 3000 m2 in Krško's Mercator center; this provides space for the reuse boutique, a coworking space, a carpentry, sewing and machine workshop and a sales space. The laboratory has the personnel, know-how, technology and infrastructure to produce various prototypes from waste materials, such as textiles, wood and plastic.

Knof also runs a programme aimed at individuals and entrepreneurs. The programme offers a supportive environment for doing dry runs for companies before they open, mentoring for the development and launch of environmentally sustainable business ideas, and the use of FABLAB equipment (such as CNC router and laser cutter).

Main results
  • The reuse boutiques offer beautifully preserved clothes, books and home products, obtained as donations from the local community and beyond. This has advantages for the local environment, as it reduces the amount of waste and enables people to shop sustainably.
  • Reused furniture has the added benefit of preserving old crafts and skills.
  • Knof's recycling boxes enable people to redirect good quality clothes that they no longer need.