Established as a model social enterprise for employment of disabled persons and other socially marginalized persons in 2011 as a spin-off of a EU funded project ESCO – Education for Social Cooperatives – New Opportunities for the Disabled Persons implemented by Autonomous Centre ACT, Humana Nova it produces and sells high quality and innovative textile products based on ecologic and recycled materials for Croatian and international markets.
It employs 16 persons, out of whom 7 are persons with disabilities, 4 were long-term unemployed women, 2 were long-term unemployed young mothers, 1 young first-time employed textile designer, 1 waste management expert and 1 economist as a cooperative manager.
The Humana Nova social enterprise provides a solution to multiple social, economic and environmental issues of the modern world. Firstly, it faces one of the most challenging issues of the modern textile industry which is one of the worst environmental polluters (both during production, as well as in terms of textile waste). I.e. cottage production is responsible for 22,5% of all insecticides and 10% of all pesticides applies at the annual level. Additionally, textile colors are widely known as highly detrimental to the environment. Synthetic materials and nylon are produced from oil and produce many other negative impacts on the eco-systems globally.
Average life-cycle of a textile product is 3 years and then it is turned into waste, and only in Croatia, there is 135.000 tons of textile waste created every year).
Hence, Humana Nova provides a solution based on reuse and recycling of the textile waste through collecting, sorting and reuse of textile, thus directly reducing climate changes impact but also enabling affordable textile products to the people in local communities and companies as well as providing jobs to marginalized groups.