Ecoalf Boycotts Black Friday to Promote Recycling and Repairs
“We act on waste, recycling it into top quality products that make your life more satisfying without causing further damage to your relationship with the environment.”
Ecoalf is a Spanish fashion and lifestyle brand founded by Javier Goyeneche in 2009 operating by the motto “creation through transformation”. By working with innovative materials that are recycled or in other ways sustainable, they aim to reduce the negative impact of the fashion industry and the irresponsible use of natural resources.
With Black Friday coming up next week, Ecoalf wishes to take a stand against mass consumption by launching the Recycling Black Friday campaign. Not participating in the massive global sale, they’re instead urging people to help close the loop by recycling, and will also offer repair services across their stores on November 23 to further promote the idea of circular economy. We asked the brand’s founding president to share some more details.
What is the story and idea behind Ecoalf – the brand and the name?
– The concept of the brand came after the birth of my son, Alfredo – the company is named after him – when I was reflecting upon the world we would leave to the next generation and my frustration with the excessive use of the world’s natural resources. Ecoalf was born in 2009 with the the idea of creating a fashion brand that is truly sustainable. By integrating breakthrough technology we create clothing and accessories made entirely from recycled materials… without actually looking like it!
– We cannot live on this planet as if we had another one to go to when this one is ruined. So our goal was to create the first generation of recycled products with the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products to show that there is no need to use our world’s natural resources in careless way.
What does the concept of ‘creation through transformation’ mean to you?
– In the natural world, nothing is created or destroyed, just beauty transformed. By changing the way we treat waste and give it a second chance, we are transforming it into something humanity can benefit from. Ecoalf is a sustainable fashion brand whose objective is to reduce the negative impact of the fashion industry and the indiscriminate use of natural resources through different innovative and sustainable processes with the end goal of creating a new generation of responsible products with a level of quality and design to match the best non-recycled products.
What are the key things you do to reduce fashion’s negative impact on the planet?
– At Ecoalf, we prefer to use recycled and sustainable fabrics because their negative environmental impact is much lower. Ecoalf continually invests in sophisticated recycling processes to remain market leaders. Today, the company has over 14 alliances around the world (Taiwan, Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Spain, etc.) that allow us to continually develop all necessary elements to manufacture with recycled materials.
– Waste such as discarded fishing nets, post-consumer plastic bottles, worn-out tires, post-industrial cotton, and even used coffee grindings become outerwear, swimsuits, sneakers and accessories. We believe in fashion that makes a difference. Fashion is not just about looking good, it’s also about doing what is right and feeling good about it – in respect of people and planet.
What are the innovations/products in the collection that you are most proud of?
– Our Upcycling the Oceans project is the most revolutionary project that aims to be replicated all around the world, with the main objective being to recover the trash that is destroying our oceans and transform it into top quality yarn to produce fabrics, clothes and accessories. Our projects take place in Thailand and Spain, and we’ve collected more than 280 tonnes of marine debris that has been recovered from the bottom of the ocean. As a result of this extraordinary project, we’ve created recycled polyester of the highest quality whilst maintaining its properties.
– Because our clothes are made of waste, we save 20% more water and 40% more energy than if we were to make our products out of non-recycled materials. Through this project we have launched our new Ocean Waste sneakers made from the plastic of the ocean, and the sole of the shoe is made out of an algae. It is only through very sophisticated and innovative processes like these, that we can achieve the textures that we want to use.
Tell us about the Recycling Black Friday campaign – what is it about?
– Clothing production has doubled over the past 15 years, and campaigns that encourage impulse buying through aggressive discounts and offers, such as Black Friday, push consumers to buy something that has a high chance of ending up in the trash tomorrow. As part of Ecoalf’s philosophy, the brand will not participate in Black Friday, but will rather be highlighting the need to consume responsibly. We want to provide solutions, and as a part of its commitment to mankind and the planet, the brand is offering a service to repair used Ecoalf garments on the 23rd of November.
– The brand is illustrating the reality of the fashion industry by displaying how the system has outsized the environmental effects. The excess in production and consumption, the impact on natural resources and gas emissions, the textile wastage and the short life cycle of garments is alarming. The chemicals, pesticides, energy and water used in the factories of the textile industry are polluting lands, rivers and oceans, all to fulfill a purchase that will last less than 3 years in your wardrobe.
– Ecoalf turns used plastic bottles that have a lifespan of 15 minutes into jackets that last over 30 years. We act on waste, recycling it into top quality products that make your life more satisfying without causing further damage to your relationship with the environment.
What can we as consumers do to make a change towards a more sustainable fashion future?
– As consumers and as brands, but foremost as people, we need to educate ourselves and redefine our concepts of need and desire, adapting our patterns and habits of consumption and production. Particularly, you as a consumer can demand from the brands the need for new ways to improve the impact on the environment whilst creating a great product. Hopefully, in a near future, our vision and efforts will encourage others to move in the same path, as more sustainable fashion labels will emerge, resulting in a global compromise towards recycling and sustainability.
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