RiMaflow is a recovered factory, located in the southern outskirts of Milan. It was occupied in 2013. The activities are carried out by an association called “Casa del Mutuo Soccorso” (Mutul-Aid Society), consisting of three organisations, namely RiMaflow, Associazione Libera and Cooperativa Ies (Social Ethics Cooperative), that aims to match solidarity economy with productive activities and social fabric. RiMaflow also founded a cooperative that currently has 12 members. These organisations are allowed to use the spaces of the factory on a gratuitous loan approved by the bank that owns the property.
RiMaflow carries out different activities including an organic market, (through the network of Fuorimercato, ethical purchasing groups and Genuino Clandestino), artisan activities (carpentry, furniture restoration, modeling, upholstery and metal processing ...), co-working spaces for those who need an office and want to relate to other co-workers. The Citadel of the other economy in RiMaflow aims to recreate in one place a complete supply chain and develop a new form of economy that is able to rethink market mechanisms, starting from building different relationships. RiMaflow is also engaged in other activities including recycling computers and electronic household devices, transport and logistics activities, interchange services, activities in the construction sector. It also has a camper storage space, a bar and a cafeteria.
There are around 70 people involved in RiMaflow including artisans, blue-collar workers, self-employed and other people who make use of the facilities of the Citadel. Decisions are made in a general monthly meeting which is also a space for political debate and analysis. The 12 members of the cooperative, who are employed under a part-time contract, earn 680 Euros per month, and they benefit from a petrol expense reimbursement which brings their total earning to about 800 Euros. Part of the revenue earned from the activities carried out is reinvested in the purchase of equipment and machinery needed in the various workshops and laboratories. RiMaflow organises also crowd-funding campaigns (the last one has collected almost 20 thousand Euros).
In Europe, there are currently ten similar experiences. At the beginning, RiMaflow has been inspired by similar initiatives in Argentina where there are over 300 recovered factories that employ 15,000 people. All these experiences created a network at an international level, and they meet up every two years in an international conference.
For more details, you can read the storytelling of Ri-Maflow in the book "Generazioni Precarie. Una conricerca tra percezione del rischio, bisogni emergenti, welfare dal basso”, that is part of “Commonfare Book Series“
Here the complete report in english
Contacts with Ri-Maflow and web site