19 October 2021 15:57

From the bin (smart) to the store (ethical): AND CIRCULAR the first vintage store in an IGD shopping center opens

The social cooperative LA FRATERNITA’ joins forces with IGD SIIQ Spa in a circular economy project which provides people with a second chance and reduces our environmental impact  


The numbers speak clearly:  last year the average Italian family did not wear almost one third of the clothes they own (amounting to more than €1,000 per family).  On average we buy 20 kilos of clothes per year and throw 4 away at the end of every season, after having worn the garments only 7 or 8 times.


With this in mind and in order to raise peoples’ awareness about this topic, the AND Circular project was developed by Cooperativa La Fraternità (http://www.lafraternita.com/) which has been collecting used clothes in the Bologna metropolitan area since 2012, gathering around 6,000 tons of used clothes each year and providing employment to more than 400 individuals.  The partnership between the cooperative La Fraternità and IGD Siiq Spa, a listed company and the leading Italian retail real estate company which embarked on a structured sustainability path in 2011, led to the opening of a point of sale (an “AND Store”) on Monday, 18 October at Centro Borgo in Bologna, as well as the installation of “smart” bins to be used for collecting gently used clothing at 3 Bologna area shopping centers: Centro Lame, Centro Nova and Centro Borgo.


The AND store is the first point of sale opened as part of the project, which aims to bring different and complementary realities together in a concept that expresses quality and sustainability with a shared objective: provide a second chance to both clothes and people. The store, which will employ 4 people, including one at risk, will remain (for now) open through Christmas and, in addition to gently used clothes, will house gifts made by Opera Padre Marella (www.operapadremarella.it), the ethical enterprise Cartiera (www.coopcartiera.it) and the association Gomito a Gomito (www.gomitoagomito.com) which works with  Bologna’s correctional facility.  The project was topped off by the installation of “smart” bins and, consistent with the idea that “the more you give, the more you create value”, shopping center patrons who use the bins to donate  their used clothes will receive small gifts made available by either the mall tenants (Librerie.coop and Gruppo Rinascimento are among the first) or the social enterprises closet to the project.


The smart bins project was sponsored by the Municipality of Bologna and the region of Emilia Romagna, with the support of IGD Spa and  Manageritalia Emilia Romagna, the association which represents 2,330 managers in the region.


We want to put people first: investing in people so that integration becomes a new driver of development. A solution that calls for an integrated approach to fighting poverty, to giving dignity back to the marginalized while also taking care of nature”, explains Francesco Tonelli, La Fraternità’s Chief executive.

In addition to finding a project in line with our values and our socio/environmental commitment – states Daniele Cabuli, IGD Siiq’s Chief Operating Officer – we wanted to provide tangible support to a business idea that combines sustainability, quality and community.”