(See links to the brands after the introduction. For English learners, there is also a handy glossary of terms in bold after the article!)
If you’re like me, you’ve thought about the environmental impact of the clothes you buy. You’ve probably seen and been shocked by the documentary True Cost, which details (in dramatic fashion!) the way people and the planet get abused by this profit-hungry industry. Maybe you work for it? I’m sorry, there are many good people working in fashion. But let’s not skirt the issue!
While the big brands would like us to just stick a sock in it, many smaller brands have developed the “sustainable fashion” niche, now having evolved into completely circular production chains, involving the recycling and upcycling of dozens of types of materials, turning old jeans into trendy bags or plastic bottles recovered from the oceans into hip sandals.
Barcelona has become a hub of experimentation, trends and non-conformist thinking of late. So it’s not surprising that the city should also have its share of eco-fashion companies with strong environmental brand messaging. I think these four Spanish companies (3 of them based here in Barcelona), deserve our attention for their commitment to taking risks and changing our ideas about fashion.
So don’t keep it under your hat – spread the word! And if you are in the market for new clothes, want to be fashionable and wear your “green heart” on your sleeve, these four fashion brands might be just the ticket!
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Their slogan: “There is no planet-B”
Through its online shop and 6 physical stores in Europe and Japan, ECOALF communicates a strong commitment to solving environmental problems. The largest and most expensive of the four brands, they feature an extensive selection of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories including sandals and backpacks made of plastic recovered from our oceans, and shirts, trousers, t-shirts and shoes made from recycled cotton, wool, nylon and rubber tires! I personally love their backpacks and swim trunks, but will I be able to use them this year….
2) Back to Eco
Their Slogan: “La vuelta al reciclaje de toda la vida”
Women’s bags and accessories are on offer at Back to Eco, all made exclusively from 100% recycled and upcycled denim in its Barcelona factory, and with a passion for a sustainable, vegan, and ethical circular economy. Their products are surprisingly affordable: an army-green tote bag retails at 20€, and a cool denim covered notepad is 14€.
3) Thinking Mu
Slogan: “We are in this together”
Thinking Mu expresses a sunny but alternative, counter-cultural vibe and sells men’s and women’s clothing and accessories made from a variety of sustainable fabrics including organic cotton, hemp, and upcycled “trash”. Their clothes are decidedly summer-oriented in colour combined with looser, bohemian cuts, and I can definitely see myself on Barcelona’s boardwalk this summer in one of their printed t’s.
Their slogan: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We are #2.”
The smallest of the four, and aiming to represent not just a kind of clothing, but a greener lifestyle, this Barcelona store works with independent, European designers whose pieces are certified with strict sustainability guidelines and use exclusively 100% organic fibres. Sadly, just for women at the moment 😉
Do you know other sustainable fashion brands in Barcelona? Please share what you know below!
in dramatic fashion – in a dramatic way
to skirt the issue – avoid dealing directly with the issue (skirt = falda)
to stick a sock in it – be quiet (sock = calcetin)
to keep it under your/our hat – keep it secret
to be in the market – looking to buy
to wear your heart on your sleeve – show your emotions openly (sleeve = manga)
to be just the ticket – be exactly what is needed/what you’re looking for
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