This week we discover the first story taken from UniCredit's 2021 Annual Report. A testament to how a young female entrepreneur has created a unique social enterprise In Verona Italy, generating tangible social impact through equal job opportunities for people who have faced difficulties whilst reducing the fashion industry's environmental impact. Read the story of Quid!
Quid, founded in 2013, strives to provide equal job opportunities to people who have faced difficulties due to their social and economic circumstances. Over the years, Quid has grown from collaborations with small tailoring workshops to hosting its own, collaborating within ethical and sustain- able supply chains, and opening new stores. Its mission of gentle disruption, using a model based on recovery, creation, and building, has seen it become a recognised brand in the Italian fashion industry.
If you look at the label on any garment produced by Quid you will find the note: “Ethically made (in Italy).” This encapsulates the two central goals of the Verona-based social enterprise: to reduce fashion’s environmental impact and to make a tangible social impact through work opportunities. 80% of the fabrics Quid uses to produce its own exclusive clothing collections and lines for other brands are remainders of large companies’ discontinued products. Quid extends the life cycle of these materials to produce beautiful clothing sustainably. What is more, this model uplifts the socially and economically marginalized, as Quid employs mainly female workers at the fringes of the labor market.
For founder and president Anna Fiscale, 33, Quid’s social enterprise model is rooted in a core belief: “that by trans- forming limits into starting points, innovative business models can be developed. Our mission begins where others' stop: where the fabric value chain ends, our design and production process begins; where the labor market discriminates, we build experiments in inclusive training and leadership”.
“The pandemic forced us to quickly rethink our business model,” says Anna Fiscale. “In less than 3 weeks we success- fully converted our production into reusable and washable individual protection masks. Once again we were able to turn limitations into starting points.”
“We are very happy to have this collaboration with UniCredit,” said Anna Fiscale, “because with your support we will be able to generate a greater social and environmental impact and to develop new initiatives to increase the economic sustainability of our business model."
UniCredit has a long-standing collaborative relationship with Quid. When this opportunity for reinvention during the pandemic came up, the bank was ready to support them. In November 2020, the bank purchased 90,000 certified, washable and reusable ‘Cover-up’ masks that were made available to the Group’s employees.
Ambitious as Quid have been with a reimagined business model, their plans for the future do not stop here. Recently, UniCredit provided the cooperative with a €2.5 million social impact loan to support its growth plan, which aims to increase female employment with the creation of 12 new jobs. The bank also committed to disburse €30 thousand to Quid, which, on the achievement of pre-established social objectives, it will use to enhance its corporate welfare project ‘Libera-mente’.
“We are very happy to have this collaboration with UniCredit,” said Anna Fiscale, “because with your support we will be able to generate a greater social and environmental impact and to develop new initiatives to increase the economic sustainability of our business model. Thanks to UniCredit’s support we will develop several important projects: on the one hand we will continue in our mission to employ and empower disadvantaged people, with a special focus on women. On the commercial side, we will seek new collaborations with commercial and distribution partners, and we will open new stores to further develop our business model”.