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Entreprenariat social

The "rag doll" project: circular Portuguese crafts and traditions ready to cross borders

The Ó Boneco ("rag doll" in Portuguese) project was born out of a desire to design a tailor-made training combining handicrafts and the traditions of the municipality of Valongo in Portugal.

Holy-wood upcycles old-fashioned furniture into designer creations

Holy-wood upcycling social entrepreneurship ecodesign carpentry

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Holy-wood is an association of craftsmen who design designer furniture with locally recovered wood in an ethical and holistic approach.

Rediscover Furniture promotes upcycling by giving new life to old furniture

Rediscover Furniture is a furniture restoration and upcycling social enterprise housed at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Dublin.

La Tête dans les Nuages creates multicoloured bean bags out of exhausted hot air balloons

La Tête dans les Nuages gives a second chance to hot air balloons, advertising posters and polystyrene packaging, which would otherwise go to waste, by upcycling them into bean bags.

Estonian business Rohepakend fights plastic waste with food wrap made from used clothing

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Estonian business Rohepakend has come up with a home-grown alternative to plastic food packaging: a food wrap made from donated cloth, pine resin from Estonian forests and beeswax.

30 Jan 2020 to 01 Feb 2020

ChangeNOW - the world's largest gathering of solutions for the planet - returns to Paris for its 3rd edition from 30 January to 1 February 2020, with more than 1,000 solutions and several inspiring circular economy keynotes.

ISATIÓ crafts into beauty what would otherwise go to waste

isatio brussels circular tailor

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ISATIÓ is a Brussels SME that recovers samples from the textiles industry to create unique designer clothing, with manufacturing all done locally and the supply chain covered entirely by bicycle couriers.

RePack's reusable and returnable packaging combines end-of-life guarantee with social economy

RePack products

RePack is the easiest way to implement circular economy in eCommerce. Using reusable and returnable RePack packaging service means sustainability in every package.

The reusable RePack bags are and made of durable and recycled materials and come in three adjustable sizes. They replace single-use packaging as the customer chooses RePack as the mean of package for delivery from the webstore. Once empty, the RePacks are designed to fold into letter size and can be returned to a postbox, free of charge, anywhere in the world. A voucher is sent to thank the customer for the return. This is the circular economy in action.

06 Nov 2019 to 08 Nov 2019

RREUSE, the European network of social enterprises active in re-use, repair and recycling, is organising its third annual conference, in collaboration with the Spanish social enterprise network AERESS and Traperos de Emaús Navarra. This unique event will focus on strategies supporting longer-lasting products through re-use and repair that create local inclusive jobs, provide green products and services and contribute positively to well-being in our society.

The Fair Plastic Alliance: give plastic a second life - and people a better one

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Italy, Other (Nigeria, South Africa)

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The Fair Plastic Alliance believes that plastic waste management based on a not-for-private-profit business model is a powerful solution to generate a positive impact on the environment and on the society as a whole, in both developed and developing countries. It is a multi-stakeholder network spreading social responsibility in plastic waste management, especially in low-income areas and adverse contexts, to achieve social as well as environmental sustainability.

La Polveriera: recycling old military warehouses into a vibrant space for civic and social initiatives

La polveriera

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The "Polveriera" is an urban regeneration project that converted an ancient military warehouse into a beautiful civic centre hosting several activities: learning and residential centre for disabled people, offices for cooperatives and NGOs, co-working space, auditorium, a shop and a restaurant-cafè. 

Rifò - regenerating noble textile fibers into timeless pieces of clothing

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Rifò regenerates noble textile fibers, such as cashmere, using a proven technology developed in the textile district of Prato (Tuscany) over a hundred years ago.

Valdelia - Arnaud Humbert-Droz

Founded in 2011, Valdelia is an not-for-profit eco organization, whose mission is to collect and recycle waste from no household furnishing sector (in French, DEA non ménagers for Déchets d’Éléments d’Ameublement non ménagers).

Through its national sector, it offers proximity, made-to-measure and free services to the communities, businesses and associations of all sizes and from all sectors. Financed by an eco-contribution displayed on the sale price of all new professional furniture, Valdelia operates on behalf of 1,200 members including manufacturers, distributors, importers of new professional furniture. Its existence addresses both strategic and societal issues environmental, economic, social as well as a legal obligation.

Chants Libres - a pilot project combining professional furniture upcycling and social enterprise

Creation of a pilot sector for the recovery and re-used of materials from household furniture waste.

Atelier Extramuros is a social enterprise specialised in upcycling in the furniture sector, using reclaimed material from discarded professional furniture.

'Chants Libres' is a new pilot project aiming at improving recycled material sourcing - with the support of Valdelia - and designing protoypes for the professional furnishing sector. Two prototypes have been selected so far to launch a wider scale production process and are to be integrated in the Kinnarps catalogue for commercialisation.

Wiltz - a Circular Economy Hotspot in the heart of Ardennes

Wiltz, capitale des Ardennes

In October 2015 the Luxembourg government named the municipality of Wiltz a Circular Economy Hotspot.  In February 2018 Wiltz renewed its political commitment with a Circular Economy Charter signed by its municipal council, by which it committed itself to mainstreaming circular economy in its future project and activities in order to improve its global footprint on the Ardennes region and to take on its responsibilities towards future generations of citizens.

22 Nov 2018 to 23 Nov 2018
Role of Social Enterprise in a Circular Economy

RREUSE, the European network of social enterprises in re-use, repair and recycling will hold its second annual conference in the city of Nijmegen, Europe’s Green Capital for 2018. High profile speakers and thinkers ranging from European institutions, public authorities, private industry and social enterprises will present their views in order to stimulate this timely debate on how to reach out to citizens in order to support the circular economy and explore the role that social enterprises have in this transition.

Unique wristbands that reduce 'ghostfishing'

Bracenet adriatic sea bracelet from discarded fishing nets

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Bracenet collects discarded fishing nets, sends these to Norway to have them turned into fabric and then produces unique wristbands in workshops that provide employment opportunities to disabled persons.

Social Circular Economy: Opportunities for People, Planet and Profit

Social Circular Economy Report cover


Social Circular Economy, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, The Frank Jackson Foundation
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United Kingdom

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Is the current circular economy paradigm enough? Will it get us to a fairer society and flourishing planet? Will it allow us to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals? Perhaps not. There could be a different way: by combining social enterprise and circular economy (= social circular economy), to deliver benefits to people, planet and profit.

​The Social Circular Economy report provides insights from our engagement with 30+ organisations from around the world that are using the value creating approaches of the circular economy to deliver environmental, societal and economic benefits. From a recycling hub supporting a disability rehabilitation centre to corporate uniform repurposing with women's collectives, there are organisations innovating business models and processes to do business better and help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. This report covers:

  • What is the social circular economy?
  • What are the themes across social circular enterprises?
  • What are examples of these organisations?
  • How can you or your organisation participate?
13 Sep 2018

The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre will hold a workshop on "Resource efficiency in the tourism sector" in Sofia, BG on September 13th to enable knowledge exchange on sustainable tourism practices and programmes and encourage the transition to resource efficient business pracitces.

03 Jul 2018 to 04 Jul 2018
Creating value together: Towards joint business opportunities with social economy and traditional enterprises

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Social economy enterprises and traditional, for-profit enterprises collaborate in many ways. Together, they can co-create value for both partners and become a real source of jobs and social impact in Europe.

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