Elisabeth-Norgall-Award-Winner 2021

Anna Fiscale

Founder and President of Progetto QUID − A social and ecological fashion enterprise for disadvantaged women

Anna Fiscale, born in Verona in 1988, is the Founder and President of Progetto QUID, an Italian social enterprise. After earning masters’ degrees in Economics of Public Administration and International Institutions at Bocconi University and in Political Science at the University Sciences-Po in Paris, she collaborated with the European Commission (Europe Aid) and NGOs on international cooperation and development projects in India and Haiti.

 

It has always been Anna’s concern to support women and employ those who are victims of exclusion in society and the job market. In addition, she realized how she could connect this mission to one of Italy’s most important market and production sectors: fashion, creating social value while providing an innovative and ethical twist to the fashion sector. Then she came up with the idea for her business and Progetto QUID was born in 2012. The will to develop a project that could help people in need and her passion for fashion culminated in the creation of this project. The goal that became QUID’s social mission was to help disadvantaged individuals start a new life and regain self-confidence through work. Leftover materials that fashion firms do not need any more can be used for creating an innovative and ecological fashion brand. 

“The business is called “QUID” because it’s a Latin word that means something has an added value,” Anna Fiscale explains. “We believe our project has an added value because it creates fashion by employing disadvantaged people and by giving a second opportunity to leftover materials. And our symbol is a clothespin because we hold together social environmental and market values”. She was able to get the Opes Foundation to financially support her social project.

Progetto QUID’s employees are of 16 different nationalities, most of them women (90%) with a difficult past who consider their employment as a form of self-empowerment and opportunity to get their lives back on track. They are people who often suffered from social exclusion; they were either invisible or deliberately neglected by the job market. Progetto QUID reverses this approach by believing in them, offering them training opportunities and the possibility to learn a profession, and giving them a chance to build better lives for themselves. The company has two workshops in Verona prisons; some recently released prisoners with experience in those workshops have since joined the company. For instance, one woman went from prison to working in the factory, supervising quality control and packaging. Other women employees have been victims of sex trafficking and some are recovering drug addicts or alcoholics. Some are older employees who have been laid off from jobs in Italy’s fashion industry, bringing with them valuable experience that allows them to train others.

During the lockdown in spring 2020, the company had to close its workshops for some time. According to the award winner: “The emergency stopped our sewing machines, but it did not stop our gaze on the future.” Finally, it must be said that Quid’s attention is not only on relaunching the production, but also on its employees. “When this emergency ends”, concludes Anna Fiscale, “we know that the biggest challenge is still there: to restart Quid (…) and we will not give up on the training of new staff, trainees and upskilling of coordinators. We are working hard to transform the limits into a starting point and to use this time to plan and pursue our social, ethical, environmental and sustainable goals for a future together.”

Young entrepreneur Anna Fiscale has already received numerous important awards: the First  Prize European Social Innovation Competition (2014), the European Civil Society Prize (2017), the Lighthouse Activity in the category “Women for Results” of Momentum for Change assigned by the United Nations (2017), the Green Carpet Fashion Award / Responsible Disruption Award (2020), and the Meritorious Knight's Cross of the Republic of Italy (Cavaliere al Merito) (2020).

Chairperson Norgall-Award-Committee 2020/2021: 1. Vice President Dott. Laura Melara-Dürbeck

IWC Frankfurt e.V.