The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world. The production process requires excessive resources, such as water and energy. In addition, the waste generated in the production process is not properly discarded and it takes more than 200 years to degrade, generating soil contamination.
Hilanda is one of the winner initiatives of the Resilient Cordoba Challenge 2021 for its contribution to the urban social economy. This initiative promotes a solution to the disposal of discarded textiles. Hilanda is a solution with a triple impact: social, economic and environmental. It produces sustainable textiles, trains women (with support of NGOs, textile companies and business partners) in clothing confection, and creates work opportunities.
The idea of Hilanda is the result of almost 20 years of experience in textile elaborating school uniforms. This experience made it possible to identify textile discards as a problem in the industry that produces environmental impacts, but also as an opportunity, since most of these wastes still can be used to create products.
Hilanda recovers discards from textile manufacturers, which are transformed into textile products, such as quilts and cushions, by trained women as part of the program. Discards are prevented from being discarded and instead are used and women have an income source.
One of Hilanda’s products is the “Olla Bruja” that allows boiling food to continue cooking for up to 8 hours, without requiring electricity or gas, so it is safe to leave it unsupervised while carrying out other activities. This “pot” saves between 30% and 80% of the energy required for cooking.
Hilanda is a contribution to the resilience of Cordoba by reducing the environmental impacts associated with textile production, that accelerate climate change. It also contributes through its training program to promote the employability of women and their adaptation to the new markets.
“The solutions we need are much closer to us than we thought. We seek to reduce textile industry waste and to create jobs for excluded people. To achieve this we need collaborative work and collective solutions.”Hilanda
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Read more of the history, the experiences and the learnings of this initiative in the article published in “Circular economy and resilience in the cities. Innovative initiatives for a better quality of life” (in Spanish) of the Resilient Cities Initiative.