Three Sicilian professionals under 35 launch a crowdfunding campaign. The target? Create the first pole in Southern Italy in Mazara del Vallo dedicated to the reuse and recycling of fishing nets and plastic recovered from the sea

It's called Risacca and it's an innovative - and virtuous - Sicilian project of circular economy: bags and backpacks, everyday objects and furnishings, made with nets no longer usable for fishing.

To build in Mazara del Vallo the Risacca Lab , the first plastic collection and recycling center in Southern Italy , Carlo Roccafiorita, Cristiano Pesca and Federica Ditta , the three founders under 35 of the ethical and sustainable fashion and design project, have launched a crowdfunding campaign which you can participate in until February 13.

A dynamic, intelligent (and fresh) way of 'networking' to deal with the disposal of disused networks, a serious problem all over the world but especially in Mazara del Vallo, one of the most important fishing centers in Italy, which produces 10 tons of waste material for fishing every year.

Saving the sea by transforming waste into a resource

“Turning waste into resources: so we will save the sea by networking”. The founders of Risacca, who in a few months have recycled a ton of fishing nets, tested the first products and won the European Green Impact Med 2021 award, have clear ideas. Now Carlo, Cristiano and Federica, after incubation with Fondazione Comunità di Messina, launch a first fundraising to realize the Risacca LAB: a social tailoring and a center for recycling in a recovered container.

Fundraising to create an ecological garrison in a containerIf financed (the goal is to raise 35 thousand euros), in Mazara del Vallo a new ecological pole will be born, able to transform the nets in daily use objects, to offer job opportunities and to sensitize more and more inhabitants on the topic of the plastic in the sea. Until February 13, it will be possible to participate in the fundraising promoted by Banca Etica, online on the, and receive in return handicraft products, services and even study holidays for the most generous donors.

How Risacca was born

Let’s go back to the project: Risacca was born a year ago by Carlo Roccafiorita, Cristiano Pesca and Federica Ditta, three professionals under 35 with a background in design, regeneration and environmental impact. The mission? To promote innovative solutions on the reuse and recycling of waste from the fishing industry, from fishing nets to plastic recovered at sea.

Why Mazara del Vallo?

It’s not a coincidence that Risacca was born in Mazara del Vallo: this Sicilian city is historically linked to the fishing industry, for several years during a crisis between unemployment, decline in income and lack of generational turnover. Today more than ever we must be resilient" - says Carlo Roccafiorita, project manager - "and introducing innovation can help us to find solutions that generate jobs and protect the environment. With Risacca we have designed a process that will transform fishing nets into a resource, generating social impact.

A sustainable, ethical regeneration project for fishing nets...

“Nowadays pollution is a global urgency” continues Federica Ditta, designer. “Our lifestyle has pushed us to produce a lot of waste, plastic is present in the DNA of the planet, sickening the ecosystem and it is estimated that in 2050 our seas will have more plastic than fish. In Mazara, more than 10 tons of fishing nets are discarded every year and the disposal is burdensome and entrusted to fishermen, who are sometimes forced to resort to illegal methods of disposal”.

... and social

It’s from these observations that the objective of Risacca is born: to give a second life to fishing nets in order to create new job opportunities and to protect the ecosystem. “We collaborated with shipowners, fishermen, artisans” says Cristiano Pescaand our lab is a unique opportunity to respond to their desire to start again by diversifying the market and recalling traditions”.

A replicable project

The laboratory will be built in the regenerated cultural park of Periferica, already a place of local innovation, “but our vision”, Carlo Roccafiorita says, “is to replicate the Risacca LAB in every Italian port. We see Mazara as a first test to respond to a widespread need in many cities and communities born around the sea”.

How to support Risacca

To support the Risacca project you need to connect to the dedicated page of produzioni dal basso and donate choosing among the rewards: handmade bags net, 3D printed elements, experiences and training activities. The most creative people can also have the opportunity to participate in the transformation of the container into a laboratory, discovering Mazara in seven days.

There is time until 13 February to get on board and promote this young ethical and sustainable project.