Sustainability and author fashion design have in Spain an indissoluble union and so it was stated in the colloquium Slow Fashion: the business model for sustainable fashion organized by ACME within the framework of COP25 in Madrid. ACME’S Executive Director, Pepa Bueno, moderated this round table at the Climate Summit, which was attended by designers Modesto Lomba, Juanjo Oliva, Moisés Nieto and Paul García de Oteyza, accompanied by Carol Blázquez, Head & Soul of Innovation & Sustainability of Ecoalf.
Fashion, like other sectors, is undergoing a phase where leading business models rely on excessive production and consumption, which causes absolutely devastating effects on our environment. Author design companies’ commitment to sustainability is not equal to that of an industry that has become the second most polluting in the planet. The European Parliament has recently published the Environmental impact of the textile and clothing industry report, where slow fashion is presented as an example of where the sector should go to curb fashion’s harmful effects on the environment. This report also offers revealing data regarding mass fashion consumption and points out that if the average consumer use of a garment were to double, the greenhouse gas emissions of the fashion industry on the atmosphere would be reduced by 44%.
Modesto Lomba, alma mater of fashion brand Devota & Lomba, expressed his strong commitment to the slow fashion business model. Modesto Lomba is a strong advocate for the creation of garments that, due to their quality and pattern, will last over time, betting on reducing consumption in response to the pollution generated by the fast fashion industry. For Modesto Lomba, there is nothing more sustainable than his clients to continue using designs made for them 30 years ago. “Quality is the key to curbing excessive consumption”, said the designer and President of ACME.
With more than two decades of experience in the world of fashion, designer Juanjo Oliva has become a hallmark of his fashion brand’s commitment to artisanal manufacturing methods and very small productions, in which the quality and durability of garments are the maxim. In recent years, he has also incorporated recycled fabrics into his collections, collaborating with ECOEMBES in 2018 to showcase a collection made of PET fabrics on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid runway for the first time. “Designers must be responsible and help raise consumer awareness through social media and all the means at our disposal”, said the designer from Madrid.
Promoting more human, creative and respectful values together with the local traditions, recovering harmony, authenticity and the human scale lost with our current development model are the basis of said business model that author’s fashion companies follow.
Oteyza, the fashion brand led by Paul García de Oteyza and Caterina Pañeda, has become a champion of the national program for the recovery of the Spanish merino sheep flock in danger of extinction. It is one of the most emblematic and important native breeds in our country, with a great history and tradition. Oteyza works primarily with this breed’s cloths, whose black variety has exceptional quality, also betting on the recovery of traditional Spanish clothing such as the galerna or the Spanish cape. «Culture and education are essential to curb the effects of big industry. We have to go back to the origins and bet on what the land gives us” said Paul García de Oteyza during the colloquium.
Slow fashion therefore becomes an antidote to reduce the environmental footprint. The crafts and production in proximity are raised as a great alternative to curb the effects of an industry that, if it continues its current production pace, in 2050 could be responsible for a quarter of the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Moisés Nieto is one of Spain’s young designers with the greatest projection in fashion. Strongly committed to sustainability, he combines creativity and environmental awareness in each of his collections. In 2016 he collaborated with Ecoembes using 100% recycled fabrics, and in his latest collection presented within the framework of the MBFWM, he opted for up-cycling. The designer dived in the familiar trousseau to create garments from old embroidered curtains and tablecloths, currently condemned to live inside a drawer. “The customer who buys design asks for exclusivity and up-cycling becomes a wonderful way to create unique garments”, said the designer from Jaen.
Ecoalf was established in 2009 with the aim of manufacturing the first generation of fashion products made with recycled materials, and of achieving the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products, and demonstrating that it is not necessary to continue abusing the planet’s natural resources in an indiscriminate manner. This company has launched the Up-cycling the Oceans project to give a second life to the waste they recover from the seabed. Additionally, besides promoting a business model more paused and respectful with the environment, technological research has become the fashion industry’s greatest ally. At this time, recycling fibres is absolutely essential to reverse the highly polluting situation in the sector. «You have to be responsible with the environment. Doing things wrong is very cheap. Quality and dignity are costly”, said Carol Bázquez, Head of Innovation and Sustainability at Ecoalf.
See the complete colloquium here