Observatory

Observatory of Green Businesses

Anakyklos Perivalontiki

Waste management

 

Anakyklos Perivalontiki is a clothing, general fabric and fabric-related material recycling company.  Though its primary goal is environmental sustainability, via the recycling of fabrics, apparel etc. it also has broader environmental and social aims.

The revenue part of the business derives from two things. Firstly from the sale of selected second hand clothes in its 4 charity shops located in Cyprus’ 4 main cities. Secondly from the exporting of apparel and material to be resold or recycled and used as raw material abroad.

The environmental arm of the enterprise ranges from hosting and participating in fund and environment awareness raising festivals, summer camps etc. to organizing workshops and other activities for schools and the broader public.

The societal activities of the company involve offering, free of charge, salvaged apparel to the economically disadvantaged and offering very low priced apparel to the broader public.

It has set up its own network of systematic collaboration that involves schools, institutions, local authorities and stakeholders by offering a contribution per kilo of clothes collected that can be used by them to forward their own social/environmental projects.

Size of business

Anakyklos has four “charity shops”, located in Cyprus’ main cities.  The whole of the business employs 35 people, many of whom taken from vulnerable groups, such as the long term unemployed.

Though it started from 6 collection banks in 3 municipalities, now it stands at 415 strong, covering the whole of Cyprus through 30 municipalities and 125 villages / communities, collecting so far over 6.000 tons of textiles.

As to its environmental actions, it has thus far led 126 activities for schools and 160 for the broader public.

Finally, as to the societal activities of the business (i.e. offering, among others, free of charge, salvaged apparel to the economically disadvantaged) these account for 2335 persons, in a population of 750,000, not counting home deliveries and institutions.  

Supports

The company was funded from the private saving and personal loans undertaken of five volunteers, its initial members.

Opportunities and plans for the future

Despite the problems faced, Anakyklos has gained a lot of local and international attention within the Green and Social Economy, including:

•             “Organized Group with Significant Environmental Activity”, Green Dot Cyprus 4th Environmental Awards, 2014.

•             The European Commission recognition of Anakyklos as “the first true social enterprise – its aim is to reduce landfill waste and to provide affordable textiles/clothes to the market.” (European Commission, 2014: 2) in Cyprus.

•             Best practice proposal for Cyprus in the framework of the European project «Social and Solidarity Economy as an alternative to Development»

•             Best social enterprise of Cyprus and a social and solidarity best practice by Susy, the international sustainable and solidarity economy network

With the green economy on the move in Cyprus and the Anakyklos name well known amongst various stakeholders, it intends to build on this momentum. Anakyklos would like to see the enterprise evolve into a center of learning for other would-be green and social entrepreneurs.

Pitfalls and challenges

 

Anakyklos, operates as a Green and social enterprise in a system that did not have and does not have legal and operational capacity for such businesses. Furthermore, the financial crisis in Cyprus also affected Anakyklos which saw the business struggling to maintain its pro-worker policies and its social arm viable. Moreover and perhaps mimicking Anakyklos business part of the endeavor, the market flooded with secondhand shops, forcing a sharp decline in prices.

Today though the market has somewhat settled, it is faced with issues of- what could be described as- unfair competition.  More specifically, one of Anakyklos main competitors has copied its collection points’ design. This creates confusion, especially since the other company is a traditional for- profit company.  The other thought it is strictly a charitable organization it has nonetheless borrowed out its name to an outside investor who benefits from the endeavor. The public is unaware of this and of course a sizeable part of it would perhaps prefer to donate out their clothes to this other charitable organization.

 

Today though the market has somewhat settled, it is faced with issues of- what could be described as- unfair competition.  More specifically, one of Anakyklos main competitors has copied its collection points’ design. This creates confusion, especially since the other company is a traditional for- profit company.  The other thought it is strictly a charitable organization it has nonetheless borrowed out its name to an outside investor who benefits from the endeavor. The public is unaware of this and of course a sizeable part of it would perhaps prefer to donate out their clothes to this other charitable organization.

Contact information



10, Κωστάκη Παντελίδη, Λευκω

22 666095

info@anakyklos.org

www.anakyklos.org/en