Social and Circular

The social dimension of the HEREWEAR project emphasizes the importance of fair labor practices and community engagement within the textile industry.

The "Social and Circular" model promoted by the Herewear project integrates social enterprises with textile supply chain businesses to foster a sustainable and equitable textile industry. This approach acknowledges the intertwined nature of social and environmental issues and aims to create a production model that benefits both people and the planet.

The Social Dimension

The social dimension of the Herewear project emphasizes the importance of fair labor practices and community engagement within the textile industry. It addresses the high social stress prevalent in various stages of the supply chain, including harvesting, sewing, and finishing, which are often associated with low-paid jobs and modern slavery. 

By integrating social enterprises into the textile supply chain, the Herewear project aims to:

  • Ensure Fair Wages and Safe Working Conditions: Social enterprises prioritise fair compensation and safe, ergonomic working environments, which are seen as essential for a truly sustainable textile industry.
  • Support Vulnerable Populations: By providing job opportunities and training for marginalised groups, social enterprises help integrate young people, those distant from the labour market, and other vulnerable individuals into the workforce.
  • Revive Local Communities: The model aims to regenerate communities affected by industrial decline, such as small towns previously dependent on now-closed factories. Technological advancements and simplified production processes play a significant role in this regeneration.
  • Preserve Traditional Craftsmanship: Social enterprises contribute to safeguarding cultural heritage by promoting artisanal textiles and traditional craftsmanship.

The Circular Dimension

The circular dimension of the Herewear project focuses on creating closed-loop systems where materials are reused, or remanufactured, to minimise the final waste and promote biodegradability. This involves:

  • Local Sourcing and Production: Emphasizing the use of locally sourced, bio-based materials to reduce transportation emissions and support local economies.
  • Resource Efficiency: Implementing processes that maximize the use of resources, such as using agricultural residues and other waste materials to produce fibres, dyes, and chemicals.
  • Innovative Remanufacturing: Developing new methods to upcycle textile waste into new products, thereby reducing the need for virgin materials and minimizing landfill use.
  • Industrial Symbiosis: Promoting collaborations among local businesses to use each other’s by-products, enhancing resource efficiency and creating synergies that benefit the entire community.

Making it Happen

The Herewear project promotes the "Social and Circular" model by fostering collaboration among various stakeholders, including social enterprises, local businesses, regional authorities, and civil society. This involves:

  • Building Local Value Chains: By connecting different actors in the textile supply chain within a region, Herewear creates integrated and sustainable value chains that enhance local economic resilience.
  • Encouraging Co-Creation: Stakeholders participate in a co-creation process to develop and implement sustainable practices tailored to their specific regional contexts.
  • Education and Awareness: Social enterprises play a crucial role in educating consumers and communities about sustainable practices and the importance of social equity in the textile industry.
  • Promoting Transparency: Ensuring that all practices within the supply chain are transparent, allowing consumers to make informed choices and fostering trust in sustainable products.

Suggested reading & viewing 

Find out about MAIBINE’s other social and circular projects: https://www.maibine.eu/ 

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Mai bine
Anca Gheorghică is a social entrepreneur and projects manager at Mai bine, coordinating projects in the field of human ecology and green social...
Mai Bine
Project Manager at Mai Bine
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Mai bine
With a master degree in Slow Fashion, held at the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design in Iasi and an 8 years working experience in the garment sector, I...