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14-Jul-2015  Milan / Italy

Schoolchildren in Italy learn to reuse

Dixan collects thousands of kilograms of clothing for those in need

Walk a mile in your neighbor’s shoes. You’ll understand them better if you do. Replace “mile” with “kilometer”, and these lyrics from Pepper Choplin’s jazzy song about compassion could well be the soundtrack to a clothing donation project for schoolchildren in Italy, carried out by Dixan, one of the top laundry detergent brands in the country. Through the project “Mettiti nei miei Panni” – “Put yourself in my shoes”, or in this case, “panni” (clothing), Dixan’s beloved mascot, “Professor Dix”, travels across Italy to visit primary schools and teach children the value of reusing clothing.

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Open Slideshow In Milan, the school that collected the most clothing won tickets to visit the Expo Milan 2015.

In Milan, the school that collected the most clothing won tickets to visit the Expo Milan 2015. Francesco Cappelli (Councillor for Education) and Irene Larcher (Laundry & Home Care Marketing Manager at Henkel) hand over the prize to the children of winning school, Sandro Pertini.

Open Slideshow Children from Sandro Pertini’s school in Milan pose with “Professor Dix”

Children from Sandro Pertini’s school in Milan pose with “Professor Dix”. They collected more clothing than any other school.

Open Slideshow The bright red donation boxes at Henkel’s offices in Milan

The bright red donation boxes at Henkel’s offices in Milan are already close to being completely filled.

Children and their families have been encouraged to donate clothing they no longer use rather than discarding it, with great results. The project collected 10,000 kilograms of clothing in 2014, and with 10 percent more schools participating in 2015, an even higher amount of donations is expected this year.

During the school visits, “Professor Dix” teaches pupils lessons on topics like solidarity, sustainability, resource-saving, responsible consumption and reuse – in a fun way. So far over 30,000 children at more than 100 schools in 20 towns across Italy have learned that children just like them, but who are less fortunate, lack the kind of clothes and toys that they have. “Professor Dix” and Dixan propose a way to help even out the inequality. Children and their families can donate the clothing they no longer use by placing it in bright “Mettiti nei miei Panni” containers positioned at the entrance to each participating school.

In 2014, Dixan donated the collected clothing to Ai.Bi - Associazione Amici dei Bambini (Friends of Children), a non-governmental organization that operates all over the world to combat child abandonment through adoptions, fostering and long-distance support. During the European Sustainable Development Week from May 30 to June 5, the “Mettiti nei miei Panni” project was also launched at the Italian Henkel headquarters in Milan, where the Dixan team invited all of their colleagues to donate any clothing which they no longer use.

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