Clothing the Gap
University of Mannheim Weinheim, Germany
Clothing the Gap provides disabled people with fashionable, affordable and functional clothes and includes them in the process with a meaningful task.
There are more than 1.6 million wheelchair users in Germany. Even though those 1.6 million people have very specific clothing requirements, only a handful of suppliers serve their special needs. Clothes offered by those few fashion companies are usually very expensive and out of fashion. To close this gap in the market, Enactus Mannheim started a social entrepreneurship project, Clothing the Gap. Together with a local community partner, Pilgerhaus Weinheim, the project provides people with disabilities access to fashionable, functional and affordable clothing. The clothes are handmade by refugees from Syria that found a home at the Pilgerhaus. Therefore, the project not only benefits people with disabilities, but also refugees from Syria who are rebuilding their lives in a new country.
University of Hohenheim Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
Environmental sustainability as well as social mobility and safety.
In Germany, 8.6 million umbrellas a year break and are thrown away, even though they consist of many usable resources. The Aufgefangen project will create a sustainable recycling system for umbrellas. The University of Hohenheim Enactus team will establish a business that deals with the collection of old and broken umbrellas, separation of the metal and fabric, production of a new product and distribution of the product. Collection of the umbrellas will take place in city halls, as well as in bakeries and local stores. The new product, a fashionable sports bag, will be produced by prisoners in VAW Schwäbisch Gmünd. For distribution, the team plans to cooperate with a startup called “wiederbelebt” and other small stores through online channels. The project is planned to create jobs. The team will hire one to three employees who will support supply chain and distribution. The team will then likely hire young adults with difficult social backgrounds from Berufsbildungswerk Waiblingen. In the long term, the profit will be used to implement a course for entrepreneurial education for either female prisoners in Schwäbisch Gmünd or youths with difficult social backgrounds, who will be future employees of the company.
University of Wuppertal Wuppertal, Germany
Production of luminous pendants for children to ensure a safer journey through traffic.
The project Kleine Lichter (Little Lights) produces luminous pendants for children to help keep them safe in traffic. The production of the lights will take place in local correctional institutions, which will empower the inmates through a new occupation and mediation of communal values and morals. The little pendants will be built from two transparent acrylic glass panels with hard rubber to protect the circuit board, as well as the LED lights in the middle. The circuit board includes rechargeable batteries and an automatic timer for the LED's to ensure sustainability. To develop the technological aspects of the project, the Enactus team will work with several students and professors in the School of Electrical, Information and Media Engineering. Students of the Media Design department will create a child-friendly look with different motifs e.g. animals, sports, etc. The product will not only provide safety for children, but also ease the minds of concerned parents. The project combines both innovative and social aspects in the community: the creation of jobs and increased self-esteem among the inmates by helping them make a meaningful contribution to society.