Fighting textile waste in the heart of Catalunya

For over three decades, Humana Fundación Pueblo para Pueblo has been actively engaged in the collection, reuse, and repurposing of textiles in Spain. Each year, the Barcelona-based foundation redirects over 18 million kilos of textiles from landfills, reselling the items at Humana stores throughout Catalunya or to Africa.

The foundation uses the proceeds to fund global development programmes in Africa, Latin America and Asia around three themes: community development, sustainable agriculture, and environment, health and education. As part of its activities, Humana champions awareness and education for these causes in local communities across Spain, as well as building support for urban agriculture.

People to people

Humana has used a property leased from Mileway as its Catalunya base since 2021. Each year more than 4,000 tonnes of textiles are processed at the property. The large and easily adaptable space gives Humana plenty of space to sort the clothes and they are able to recycle 90% of total amount collected. 13 m ceiling height allows storage of high volumes of clothes and textiles once they have been packed into bags.

The location of the property is strategic. Just outside of Barcelona and well connected to highways, it allows easy collection from Humana’s stores and donation boxes dotted across the city as well as other parts of Catalunya. Once the textiles and clothes have been sorted and are ready to leave the warehouse, the location also ensures easy redistribution either back to Humana stores or to Africa via the port in Barcelona.

However, being close to Barcelona isn’t just important for operational efficiency. The location of the property is essential in being able to recruit employees both to work in the processing teams as well as departments like human resources and public relations.

“The location is fundamental as we have a workforce of 70 people that live nearby.”

Joan Carles Montes, Spokesperson for Humana Spain