Caritas's president, Manuel Bretón (left) and Inditex's executive chairman Pablo Isla. Credit: Inditex
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Inditex is donating €8.5 million to Caritas to support social employment and circular economy initiatives in Spain

On the social employment front, the programme has already enabled more than 2,500 people at risk of social exclusion in Spain to find work thanks to the €11.5 million earmarked to this project by Inditex since 2011.

Inditex will donate €8.5 million to Caritas Spain during the next three years thus lending continuity to its employment programme for people at risk of social exclusion and providing further support for its clothing collection drive. The new agreements were sealed today at Inditex’s headquarters in Arteixo (La Coruña) by the two organisations’ presidents, Pablo Isla and Manuel Bretón, at a ceremony attended by the NGO’s general secretary, Natalia Peiro.

Inditex’s executive chairman, Pablo Isla, singled out the collaboration as “one of the Group’s most important initiatives on account of its social impact and environmental relevance; on the one hand, he highlighted its efficiency, as “it has generated 2,500 jobs to help integrate people at risk of exclusion into the workplace, providing 2,500 examples of hope, tenacity and new horizons for families”; on the other, the work performed on the environmental front, Pablo Isla remarked it as “the best example of a circular economy initiative in the textile sector anywhere in the world”.

Manuel Bretón, for his part, expressed his satisfaction with the new thrust for Caritas’s social economy efforts, which “will continue to help us foster a society based on the promotion of human rights, dignity, cooperation and justice, framed by care and respect for the environment”. Natalia Peiro stressed the fact that “this model of cooperation is aligned with Europe’s 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, particularly for young people”.

Under the terms of the extended agreement signed today, Inditex will channel, via Caritas, €5 million to promoting job access for the least privileged in Spain through social economy, skills training and entrepreneurship support initiatives between now and 2022. Since 2011, Inditex has earmarked over €11.5 million to this employment scheme which has meant that more than 2,500 vulnerable people have found work, while over 4,600 have received nearly 1.2 million hours of certified training. 

In parallel, Inditex has pledged to contribute €3.5 million to Caritas’s clothing drive for the collection of used garments and footwear for reuse or recycling, framed by a cycle that fosters the integration and hiring of people at risk of exclusion in tandem.

Under the model, the clothing and shoes that can be reused are donated free of charge to people being attended to by Caritas or sold at attractive prices in the NGO’s chain of stores, thus raising money for charity. Those products that cannot be reused are sent for recycling, preferably for the regeneration of high-quality fibres which can be used to make new garments.

The new funds being contributed by Inditex to this line of initiative will be destined primarily to installing 300 new on-street clothing collection containers in different Spanish cities and to improving the underlying traceability systems and raising the profile of Caritas’s second-hand clothing store chain.

During the last three years, Inditex has given €3.5 million euros to this clothing management project which has enabled the creation and maintenance of more than 350 new jobs for vulnerable job seekers; the installation of over 1,800 collection containers; and the collection of more than 48,000 tonnes of garments, in turn leading to the donation of 1.8 million items to Caritas’s charity shop chain. In addition, the money has facilitated investment in the garment sorting plants which Caritas’s store chain operates in Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia.

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