Plastic soup, climate change, tropical conditions in Northern European summers and heat waves with temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius in Spain. Worrying consequences of our unbridled consumer drive for decades. Consequences that fortunately do result in increasing awareness of our own negative contribution to it and the need for sustainability.
This increasing awareness in turn ensures that smart innovations and new sustainable initiatives shoot up like mushrooms. As a result, companies are increasingly investing in a green image or selling products made from recycled material. Sustainability is becoming increasingly trendy. This is the case also, here in Spain. However, Northern European countries are a bit more progressive in this respect, here too there are plenty of companies where you can buy products and at the same time make a small contribution to a better world.
InSpain.news went searching for interesting ‘slow fashion made in Spain’. After all: with every euro you spend, you make a choice for the world you want to live in. As such, you can wear sustainable products from top to bottom. Therefore, we selected ten brands, which also sell their products online, handy in these times of travel restrictions.
Ecoalf – sustainability with clothing and accessories
Javier Goyeneche from Madrid founded Ecoalf out of frustration with the worldwide overuse of natural resources and the large amounts of waste we all produce. His goal was to recycle waste with innovative technologies into materials with which all kinds of fashion items can be made. These items must have the same qualities, designs and technical properties as conventional products.
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All Ecoalf clothing, bags, slippers, sneakers and accessories are made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, fishing nets, (car) tyres, coffee and wool. Ecoalf has also been awarded the B Corporation tm. This is a global movement of companies that engage in social entrepreneurship. Companies that are not the best in the world, but the best for the world. Ecoalf has two stores, one in Madrid and one in Berlin since 2017.
With this brand as a sponsor, the Galician football club El Dépor is the first in the world with a fully sustainable sports outfit. Under the name Upcycling the Ocean, Ecoalf works with 3,000 fishermen, 700 boats and 60 ports along the Spanish east coast to collect bottles, nets and other waste. Ecoalf recycles this and then turns it into clothing. The same also happens in a Thai coastal region. Ecoalf.com
Pwani Menorca – shoes and sandals
During a holiday in Tanzania in 2003, Clara and Nico from Menorca got inspired to the fullest. The hospitable residents, the overwhelming nature and the authentic experiences that the couple had there, gave them the idea of doing business in a sustainable way and at the same time contributing to life in one of the villages they had visited. On their website, they quote Mark Twain: “the most important two days of your life are the one you are born on and the one you discover why you were born.”
Now they make sandals that are typical of the island of Menorca. Traditionally, the ‘avarcas menorquinas’ were worn by agricultural workers. Recycled rubber is used for the soles, the insoles are made of durable rope and the upper is made of leather or sustainably produced fabric. All shoes are handmade by islanders and are unique. Pwanimenorca.com
IAIOS – sweaters and t-shirts
IAIOS is a Catalan company that makes 100% recycled sweaters and t-shirts with thread from wool scraps. They are beautiful, classic designs, all produced in local workshops in the Catalan villages of Olot and Igualada. Each sweater and shirt is unique and because of its sustainability and quality which lasts many winters for a very reasonable price. Iaios.com
Ternua – outdoor clothing
Adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts pay attention: The company Ternua, founded in 1094, has been making 100% sustainable outdoor clothing and accessories for men, women and children since 2007. Bermudas, long pants, thick winter coats, fleece jumpers, polos, t-shirts, backpacks and even sleeping bags. The down in sleeping bags and jackets is 100% recycled. All products are designed in such a way that you can move smoothly in a comfortable way.
Interesting is the ‘Nutcycle’ project. Every season 55,000 kilos of walnuts are eaten in Basque cider houses. Ternua collects the remaining walnut shells to make natural paint, which gives the clothes their earthy colours. Ternua’s philosophy is that we give back to the planet what it gives us, without harming it. The company’s symbol is the tail of a Basque whale. Ternua has also adopted four whales through the WDC project. Ternua.com
Skunkfunk – women’s clothing and accessories
Under the motto ‘Fair feels better’, the Basque company Skunkfunk produces women’s clothing. Shirts, skirts, dresses, trousers and accessories such as scarves, bags, wallets and belts. Most items are made from Fairtrade cotton. Resulting in sustainability with everyone in the trade chain earns fairly from the product that ultimately ends up at the customer. The company was established in 1999. Skunkfunk is now present in more than 38 countries at 600 locations.
The clothing has simple designs, geometric patterns and an urban look. Furthermore, it adds a nice detail. Calculations are made with an impact calculator allowing you to see the ecological footprint on the production of each garment. All with the motto that your buying habits can change the world. Skunkfunk.com
Fabiola – Espadrilles
However, if you like the typical Spanish espadrilles or alpargatas, take a look at the Fabiolas website. This brand manufactures several models based on the premise that the production of one pair of Fabiolas No-Trace represents the CO2 emissions that are compensated by just one tree during one year. Whereas, according to environmental experts, a normal pair of shoes requires up to six trees.
The entire concept of alpargatas has been redesigned to make them from recycled materials, natural fabrics and innovative processes. All of which minimises the impact of the production on the environment. Furthermore, with regards to sustainability, they are handmade with 100% biodegradable jute thread. And with fabric made with the fibers from pineapple leaves and soles made from recycled tires and cork granules. Fabiolas.es
Ecoology – clothing and accessories
The sustainablity clothing brand Ecoology makes clothing, lingerie and accessories from fabrics with the GOTS (organic cotton) and Textile Exchange (products with at least 95% organic cotton) labels. The designs of all clothing for men and women and the lingerie have been carefully considered.
Everything is made by hand. The clothing made of natural materials is comfortable and timeless. Only a few pieces are made of each model, so that everyone can feel unique. According to Ecoology, eco-fashion can also be feminine, sexy and trendy. Ecoology.es
IDUNN Bags- bags
All Idunn bags have been made from organic material in Spain since 2014. These include recycled coffee bags, vegetable tanned leather or naturally processed fish skins from fish used in the food industry, such as cod and salmon. The entire process takes place in small workshops in Madrid and is carried out by professionals who have been in the business for years. The hot water used in the tanning of the hides comes from geothermal sources and the energy is also of sustainable origin. Vanessa Leiva’s designs are timeless with simple and elegant lines. Therefore, the sustainability of the bags, just like the material, can last a very long time. The website idunnbags.com is temporarily out of order, but bags are also available through Thecircularproject.com.
Skuibo – Bags and backpacks from car tires
Under the motto ‘keep it rolling’, this brand was created in 2014 in the Basque city of Bilbao. Sustainability, craft and fashion are combined at Skuibo within the ‘slow fashion’ movement. The project arose from inspiration that Federico Nider, architect and photographer, and Alfredo Álvarez, programmer and director, gained in Africa in 2013. There they saw how worn car tires were given a second life in the form of shoes, sandals or bags.
At Skuibo, the original characteristics of the material are used to the maximum. As such, the designers adapt the designs to the material instead of the other way around. That makes them unique with organic and minimalist shapes. The bags are unique, easy to keep clean and last a long time. You have to love it, but you are sure of a very original purchase. Skuibo.com
¡Ánimo valiente! – new life for old jeans
Have the courage (ánimo valiente!) To give your old favorite jeans or other denim clothing a second, third or even fourth life by transforming them into new, hip garments or accessories. That is the message and mission of craftsman Succubus, who creatively redesigns used denim garments. Succubus is the pseudonym of a young photographer and designer born and raised in the Basque Country. Each piece – trousers, shirt, skirt, tunic – is made by hand ‘and with love’ in his workshop in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, so it is unique and exclusive. Animovaliente.com