Ecoalf, a Spanish Certified B-Corp, has committed to reaching a zero carbon footprint by 2030. To achieve this goal the apparel company is constantly investing in R&D to develop innovative technology and lower its environmental footprint. Along with it, it also aims to become a lifestyle brand by enlarging its product selection including new product lines and a furniture selection. Javier Goyeneche, CEO and founder of Ecoalf, explained Ecoalf’s pillars and goals.
Ecoalf is more than ten years old. How did the brand evolve through the years?
Ecoalf was born in 2009 with a clear vision: to stop using natural resources in a careless way. Our mission–which is to create a new generation of recycled products, with the same design and quality as the best non-recycled ones–remains intact with more strength and clarity than ever.
Since 2009, we have recycled over 250 million plastic bottles and hundreds of tons of discarded fishing nets, as well as saved millions of liters of water. With all this waste we have made over 400 different recycled top quality fabrics. In 2015, we established the Ecoalf Foundation and released our project “Upcycling the Oceans” (UTO), collaborating with local fishing boats in order to collect marine debris and waste from the ocean. Today, this project has expanded to include 43 ports, involve more than 3,200 fishermen, and helped to collect more than 600 tons of waste from the bottom of the ocean.
In 2015, Ecoalf released its “Upcycling the Oceans” project
Ecoalf is expanding into new lifestyle categories such as footwear, yoga, travel and furniture. Can you give more details about these new projects?
We want to enlarge our footwear offer by including new models whose outer soles made with algae, plus we will also enlarge our offer of women’s shoes.
Among our footwear selection three of our sneakers styles’ CO2 emission is lower than the average reached by other sneakers. Our Shao, Bora and Sia’s models LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) were analyzed according to a study by INESCOP, a prestigious innovation and technology institute in Spain, according to the stringent guidelines set by the European Union’s GreenShoes4All project.
Ecoalf sneaker for summer ’21
Thanks to our value chain’s meticulous management, the company lowered its CO2 emissions to 5.53 kg CO2eq (Bora), 4.58 kg CO2eq (Sia), and 4.51 kg CO2eq (Shao), well below the average range of a regular running shoe: 13.6 kg of CO2eq emissions (Source: MIT).
Also new is our Travel collection, made with our “Ocean Yarn” made with plastic gathered from the bottom of the ocean as part of our UTO project.
Our new Yoga Collection is made with Qnova, a high-quality recycled nylon that adheres to your body like a second skin. Ecoalf was able to keep all the technical properties needed for yoga practice intact in this collection. As all of its pieces are seamless, fabric wastage equals to zero. Along with it, its carbon emissions are very low as it is entirely produced near to us–in Portugal.
We see Ecoalf as a lifestyle brand and this is part of the reason why we are also entering the furniture and home category. It’s a collaboration with Viccarbe, a Spanish furniture brand, we have started a circular economy project with.
When will these new product lines be launched?
We are planning to launch our new collections in spring/summer and hope to present our furniture line for next Milan Design Week–if circumstances will permit it.
Ecoalf has just opened a monobrand store in Madrid. How many other stores exist? Are they all designed according to sustainable criteria?
Our Madrid flagship store is located in the Santa Barbara Palace. This 350-sq.-meter shop will promote our Act Now events meant to offer products and initiatives based upon innovation, sustainability and design, while we aim to build a community of changemakers able to lower our impact.
Ecoalf flagship store in Madrid
We have already opened a total of seven stores including Madrid, Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo and Turin (also see here). At the moment we are focused on the ones we have and want to continue to work closely with our wholesale partners.
Our stores are decorated with natural and recycled materials such as reclaimed wood, salvaged stainless steel, low-consumption LED lighting and iron.
Ecoalf has recently become a B-Corp. What benefits will that bring to the company, its products and consumers?
We became a B-Corp in 2018 and were the first fashion company in Spain to receive this certification. For us all, this recognition is much more than just a certification as it makes us feel part of a community that is helping to change the world and also helps us evaluate and understand how we can improve and become better every day.
Ecoalf look s/s ’21
Will Ecoalf launch any new materials or innovative projects?
In February, we will launch the Blanca Padilla apparel collection. We’ve created eight unique and essential pieces for a woman’s wardrobe without damaging the planet. All pieces are made with cellulosic vegetal origin materials dyed with natural pigments.