The social cooperative Humana Nova was founded in 2011 as part of the ESCO project – “Education for social cooperatives – new opportunities for people with disabilities” implemented by Act Grupa. Over the last 12 years, Humana Nova has employed people with disabilities and from other marginalized groups. Together they created value from discarded textile items and they daily created new quality and innovative textile products. 

Humana Nova is active in the following areas: 

  • textile collection 
  • textile classification (usable and unusable textiles) 
  • textile processing (production of industrial cloths and processing of unusable textiles into felt or non-woven textiles) 
  • sale of usable textiles in a second-hand shop 
  • design and sew products from recycled and new materials 
  • organise workshops and 
  • organise actions. 

With more than half of employees being people with disabilities (26/46) or members of other marginalized groups (13/46), Humana Nova is continuously promoting social inclusion, developing, and validating work integration models, contributing to creating a more tolerant society, but also taking care of the environment through collecting, recycling, and reusing more than 400 tons of textile annually. Its practice directly effects on persons with disabilities because within its system they become empowered, they gain self-confidence, develop work habits and social skills which improves their quality of life.  

Humana Nova is the only non-profit cooperative that deals with the work integration of PWDs and other marginalized groups through the textile waste management model, and despite, the lack of national support since its establishment (2011), it has recorded continuous growth in the number of employees, the number of business collaborations and income.


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