To go to the mountain or to the office: sustainable clothing and technical made in Spain

An example of sustainable fashion. Coupons that were going to go to waste is converted into yarn in a factory in Olot (Girona). With this yarn are knitted sweat

To go to the mountain or to the office: sustainable clothing and technical made in Spain

An example of sustainable fashion. Coupons that were going to go to waste is converted into yarn in a factory in Olot (Girona). With this yarn are knitted sweaters in a shop Igualada (Barcelona). Made from a single pattern timeless, are sold in a shop in Granollers (Barcelona). If the client wants to get rid of the jersey, I can deliver it for you to recycle them and get new yarn. Quite a few citizens of Granollers wear this knitted garment, proud to contribute to the local economy. “I feel very hers,” the homeowner says Gemma Barbany, formed in Fine Arts, but with a great textile tradition in his family –his great-great-grandfather opened a textile business in 1895, in this city of 60,000 inhabitants. Iaios, the name of the brand and that means grandparents, in Catalan, works from 2015. We take care of the origin of the resources, the manufacturing and the waste is converted into raw material.

An example of sustainable fashion and technique, and large-scale: the basque company Ternua manufactured in 1994, a fleece from plastic bottles. "There were other qualities, yes," says their press officer Nora Garay. Specializing in garments for outdoor activities and with 170 workers, one of their latest innovations is the elimination of hazardous substances used in the fabrics water repellent. "We incorporate new materials without losing the technicality". Ecoalf is another very well-known in this field. From a decade ago makes tires, fishing nets, plastic bottles or soles of flip-flops in coats which cost between 200 and 400 euros. Or in slippers, in collaboration with the majorcan Camper, sold for 130 euros. The illustration below represents shoes made in Spain, sometimes invented or with deep roots in the country, and manufactured with sustainability standards.

Another example of sustainable fashion brings The English Court. One of his trademarks produces clothes, bathroom with a polyester yarn obtained from the bottles captured in the oceans, and another, jeans with yarn recycled from jeans discarded.

expand photo Gemma Hernandez, right, is in charge of the store. His sister Núria is the creator of the brand and who makes the bags and backpacks. Ferran Estivill

More. Numon, with headquarters in Reus (Tarragona), designed bags and backpacks from jeans discarded or drapes or bedspreads that they give to neighbors. Do not do collections but it does take a couple of new models each year. Carry a decade in this. Some students of Reus have visited when they have had that present a work of sustainable fashion. Gemma Hernández, the older of the two sisters that lead the business, reports the new landscape of this city of tarragona of 103.477 inhabitants. "Many stores were closed before the opening of a shopping center. Others have opened, like us, one of organic cosmetics and trade, and vegan where they sold the genre to the weight".

Yes follows fashion

sustainable fashion never had it so easy. “Increasingly, there are fewer constraints to follow the trends,” says Elena Salcedo, professor at the European Institute of Design (IED) of Barcelona. “Well, if it carries the fluoride or the glitter is more complicated, but in general each time it costs less,” illustrates. “We have made so many advances that sustainable fashion as not imply that it is crappy, ugly, or hippie. No need to forgo style”, you have to explain it to some of their students, more focused on the creative side or directly in deciding what they like and what they dislike. The result obtained for the people was very aware that it started with all of this at the beginning of the century was very limited. “The clothes were not as aesthetic, nor as cool, nor as trendy,” notes Salcedo. “There has been a great evolution. Now is the future of sustainable fashion in the big chains.”

The new line of street Ternua-based garments to the mountain.

Sustainable and technical. Clothing lightweight, functional, compact, rugged, full of pockets, designed to make outdoor activity –clothes technique, go– it is fashionable. In Ternua are aware of. "We've risen the wave of this trend," says Garay. You are going to present a line of street based on his knowledge of mountain clothing and mountain climbing. "People want clothes complete, that will work for different situations", he explains. "Before this type of clothing had a lot of color or blending multiple shades," he argues. "Although the Basque Country has always been the technical clothing", he says.


Marina Lopez is the president of the Association of Sustainable Fashion, which brings together 130 small or medium-sized enterprises that are respectful with the environment and with the conditions of the workers. Lopez pointed from Jerez de la Frontera in the same direction: “sustainable fashion is fashion. There is No incompatibility between following the trends and be sustainable. What we do not do is get a collection every 15 days”. Speaks in the first person plural. He also has his business of sustainable fashion.

Plastic fashion

Less than 1% of the material used for the manufacture of clothing is recycled, according to the report, A new economy of textiles: redesigning the future of fashion, published by the foundation Ellen MacArthur in 2017. Other data. Each year it employs the equivalent of a billion plastic bottles of half a litre to produce clothing of plastic origin. The report of this totem of the circular economy estimates that between 2015 and 2050 is vertirán 22 million tonnes of microplásticos the sea.

Elena Salcedo, consultant, sustainable fashion, points out the formula to get that “continuance of the existing model without a feeling of guilt”. It is called circularity and is to convert the waste into raw material. “If the t-shirt is 100% cotton it can be crushed, get yarn and re-make a garment,” he explains. The R & D is aimed to separate and to recycle the garments unwearable in the best way. “It is the hope to convert to a sustainable model that does not want to change”. And he adds: “it is Not the solution but it is a way to keep everything going like without feeling guilty. It would be desirable to explore options that would lengthen the life of the garment. Lopez, who chairs the association which was founded in 2015, provides a piece of information: “The useful life of a garment, conventional are six washes of media”.


Marina Lopez calls for a labeling in fashion with “as much information as in the food sector”. He asserts that when a garment is manufactured with mixture of fabrics it is not obligatory to indicate if the primary reaches 90% of the composition. A cotton t-shirt that has a 9% acrylic, for example, can be sold as 100% cotton. “The label is outdated,” notes Salcedo, who coordinates a course of verano specialized in sustainable fashion from five years ago. Gives classes to many professionals in the sector who want to learn another way of doing fashion. “There is a need to move towards the model of power or as the of the domestic appliances”. Salcedo argues that there are brands who ignore the origin of the tissues.

Lopez put an example of missing information on the label: “The composition of the dyes that are used in Asia. Some factories use chemicals or heavy metals that are not allowed in Europe”. The English Court has clothing made with organic cotton or jeans tinted without the use of water. In the following diagram will detail some of the practices that it carries out.

Puma pioneered by incorporating seven years ago the environmental costs incurred in its account of the results, informs the teaching Salcedo. The monetised and included as expenses. As if it were the wages of their workers or the rent of the shops.

Wardrobe shared

The democratic us congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses a subscription system that allows you to dispose of clothes without buying it. There are specialized platforms in this type of trade, or large chains that have begun to offer this service. The platform norway Vigga offers a subscription model of clothes for babies from five years ago. Recently the has been absorbed by the Dutch website the Circus. “I always wonder if the future of sustainable fashion is more expensive. The answer is no. You can rent clothes or resort to second-hand shops. Or you can buy a t-shirt for 25 euros instead of five to 5 euros each,” explains Lopez. “The clothes are sustainable, have the price that they have to have. Fair and ethical”.

Compared again with the food sector, one speaks of fashion of kilometer zero. It reduces the carbon footprint and promotes the local economy. “Portugal has managed to reinvent itself and has factories of organic tissues and recycled. Catalonia is returning. Not only fashion conventional but also recycled polyester, for example,” points out López. The sweaters Iaios done 108 miles since it was created in the provinces of Girona and Barcelona until you get to the sale. Guangzhou to Barcelona there is 9.929 kilometers.

Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 14:00



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