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The pioneering role of social enterprises in the circular economy: a closer look at Atelier Riforma

In today’s sustainability-driven era, the circular economy is a game-changer. It transforms growth by maximizing societal benefits. It breaks the link between economic activity and resource consumption, eliminating waste. Social enterprises in the European Union (EU) are at the forefront and Atelier Riforma is one such example.

On a mission to boost the circular transition of the fashion industry

Atelier Riforma, an Italian social startup, is revolutionizing the textile sector. They tackle the pressing issue of textile waste with their groundbreaking innovation, 𝗥𝗲𝟰𝗖𝗶𝗿𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿. This AI-based technology, launched in 2020, automates textile waste management by cataloging, sorting, and digitizing it.

What sets Atelier Riforma apart is their holistic approach. They connect the entire ecosystem through a B2B platform, fostering collaboration between key players in textile waste collection and circular fashion. This initiative promotes efficient reuse and recycling, creating a sustainable and collaborative environment.

Re4Circular: Italy’s first marketplace for upcycled garments, revolutionizes textile waste management by connecting it directly with circular companies. This innovative B2B platform allows firms to handpick and purchase secondary raw materials from collection hubs, offering a unique value proposition: transforming textile waste into valuable resources, streamlining sustainable sourcing, and promoting a circular economy.

Empowering innovation: the role of the SocialTech4EU project

Since 2023, the journey of Atelier Riforma and its innovative Re4Circular technology has been supported by the SocialTech4EU project – the largest support and capacity building programme in Europe for social enterprises, co-funded by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) through the Joint Cluster Initiatives (EUROCLUSTERS) for Europe’s recovery.

We won both the first call, with which we obtained a grant of €3k that we used to increase our skills in hashtag#digitalmarketing (thanks to a wonderful course of the company No Panic), and the second of €20k, with which we’re carring out a feasibility study on hashtag#ComputerVision applied to the classification of textile waste, that we’re developing together with our tech partner Sensor Reply IT.

Thanks to these grants we will be able to give another technological boost to our hashtag#social startup and we are extremely happy that our project has emerged!

Atelier Riforma, LinkedIn post

As one of the 20 social enterprises selected for cascade funding (through the first two open calls of the SocialTech4EU project – support for training and support for innovation), Atelier Riforma is a model of inspiration. It highlights how targeted support and funding can empower social startups to scale their innovations, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy.

Social enterprises like Atelier Riforma, equipped with innovative solutions and the support of EU-funded projects, are at the forefront of this transition.

Atelier Riforma, with the support of initiatives like SocialTech4EU, plays a significant role in the transition to a circular economy. Their work showcases the power of innovation, emphasizing the crucial role of social enterprises in building a sustainable future.

The story of Atelier Riforma and SocialTech4EU is a compelling example of how innovation, collaboration, and funding can transform sustainability and the circular economy in the EU and beyond.

Get more inspiration and updates by following Atelier Riforma on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

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