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A FRESH START TOWARD A NEW (SECOND) LIFE OF OBJECTS AND PEOPLE

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RESTARTER (A FRESH START TOWARD A NEW (SECOND) LIFE OF OBJECTS AND PEOPLE)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2017-09-30

"Restarter project addresses a challenge involving three complementary and growing problems and opportunities: the environment to be preserved, a business opportunity to be targeted and a social problem to be addressed.
The project represents an important innovative initiative addressing the above challenges, with the ultimate goal to be a proactive contributor towards a circular economy system in which products, components and materials are kept at their highest utility and value at all times of the consumption process, extending their life and thus reducing waste and pollution.
Restarter aims to develop and implement at European level an innovative business model of second hand clothes commercial sales and hybrid public/private supply social service, based on a sustainable production and distribution process.
The project is important for the society because it has been designated as a mean to adopt a circular economy model on which products, components and materials are kept at their highest utility and value at all times of the consumption process, extending their life and thus reducing waste and pollution. This aspect is combined with La Fraternità mission, in order to offer employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.All these elements contribute to create Restarter project where used clothes and disadvantaged people are not anymore considered as a ""waste"" of our societies, but on the contrary they represent an important resource in which is useful to invest, capable to improve the society conditions.
Restarter project will be implemented along the following objectives:
• Implement a novel collection and sanitization production process, through a supply chain fully traceable for both the donors and the users (i.e. the customers and people in need) via a dedicated ICT WEB platform;
• Launch a distribution sales network of second hand clothes;
• Initiate a social public/private service able to provide second hand clothes and to involve people in need in a rehabilitation inclusive programme, activity to be sustained through the profit generated from the previous second hand clothes sales;
• Generate nearly 9M€ revenue and 1,3M€ profit within 5 years from project’s completion, hiring additional 25 employees mainly selected from people in need and individuals with disabilities, in line with the Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII mission
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"During the phase 1 La Fraternita’ has performed a feasibility study ranging from the operational aspects of the proposal to the strategic and commercial implications, included a refined business plan and phase 2 project’s cost structure. In particular the activities carried out include risk assessment, market study, user involvement, commercial partner search, feasibility of concept, plant design.
Some hypothesis elaborated at proposal stage have been confirmed, others have been modified with the aim to strengthen and make the business case more reliable.
During this period new aspects have emerged and will become activities to be addressed during the phase 2 of the project (e.g. collaborations with stakeholders involved in the field of used clothing). The main findings of the Feasibility study convinced La Fraternità to apply also for the Phase 2 of the H2020 call titled: ""SMEInst-12-2016-2017: New business models for inclusive, innovative and reflective societies"".
The feasibility study has confirmed a growing market and a potential for growth, therefore an opportunity behind the business idea. During this 6 months period La Fraternita’ has realized the need to collaborate with
organizations more market knowledgeable, thus La Fraternità intensified contacts with reliable commercial market players, signing with them a Letter of Intent.
The final goal is to strengthen the cooperation with important stakeholders at European level, in order to exploit the potential for a market replication. La Fraternita’ has elaborated a business plan where both costs categories and product categories have been fine-tuned from the original phase1 proposal, to better align with the realty and the market requirements.
On an operational standpoint, the conclusions of the feasibility study have partially confirmed the initial assumptions elaborated in the phase 1 proposal. Indeed it has been assessed the viability to implement a plant in Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO), while the feasibility study is showing a sorting line capacity to reach 4.000 worked yearly tons, instead of the original planned 10.000. This new capacity has been reached after a deeper analysis of both the market demand and the territory collection capabilities; the analysis has assessed that 10.000 tons / year would have been too challenging as objective to be reached, while 4.000 tons / year is certainly a feasible goal. This goal will allow La Fraternita’ to double in 5 years the quantity of used clothes actually collected.
The results of the feasibility study have been analyzed by La Fraternità management and they have been disseminated among all the staff representatives potentially involved in the project, in order to collect suggestions for the Phase 2 proposal preparation. In addition, feasibility study results have been discussed during meetings occurred with the main stakeholders (such as CFP, TESS-EEIG, MATREC, Municipality of Ozzano dell'Emilia-BO,WRAP, SIXS, ecc..) which will support the Phase 2 of the project. In addition, La Fraternità has issued a press release last 31st May 2017 concerning Phase 1 of the project and creating a specific section of La Fraternità website. (http://www.lafraternita.com/2017/06/16/restarter/)
Lastly, La Fraternità management is evaluating the possibility to further disseminate the results of the feasibility study using brand new services recently launched by the EU such as the EU Research and Innovations youtube channel (http://ec.europa.eu/research/investeuresearch/index.cfm) and Common Dissemination Booster (CDB - https://www.trust-itservices.com/common-dissemination-booster).
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The project will introduce 2 main novelties within the used clothes markets:
1- Achieve a collection and sorting process of the production chain of used clothing, with a supply chain completely transparent and traceable;
2- Introduce in collaboration with the local municipalities/public services of a novel social service, where people in need, through a social card, can have access to used clothing, returning back used items previously received.
The proposal expects to generate nearly 9M€ revenue and 1,3M€ profit within 5 years from project’s completion, hiring additional 25 employees mainly selected from people in need and individuals with disabilities.
Notably the business is expected to be in profit already in year 1 following the phase 2.Restarter will combine ethics, economic and social growth, social benefits within the used clothing sector and thus will define new operating standards.
Furthermore the project will have positive impacts on climate or environment change: indeed the project will set up a plant for the collection-selection- and sanitization of 2nd hand clothes with a maximum capacity of 4.000 tons per year, generating a total environmental yearly savings estimated to be 14.400 tons of CO2 emission, 24 Billion liters of water, 1.200 ton of fertilizers and 800 tons of pesticides.
In addition, on the long run, thanks to the exportations of used clothes to the less developed countries where Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII (APG23 - www.apg23.org) is present, the local population can benefit of the Restarter products in order to set up small business of 2nd hand clothes. In this way Restarter products will represent an important mean to fight poverty promoting self-entrepreneurship through the support of local businesses for used clothing sales. In addition profits generated in these countries by Restarter products, will be invested in supporting the activities of APG23 in favor of the people in need.
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