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In 2009, Javier Goyeneche founded the sustainable fashion brand Ecoalf. He hopes to promote more careful use of materials through his brand by making his collections from recycled materials.

Ecoalf does not use new materials to make clothes. After all, we are depleting our natural resources and there are still plenty of materials on earth that deserve a second life.

People

The manufacturers Ecoalf works with are audited by several independent organisations in terms of environmental and social conditions. For instance, factories are audited by the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative), SA8000 (Social Accountability) or by SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit).

In addition, Ecoalf is also a member of B-corp. This is an organisation that helps its members be more inclusive, environmentally-friendly and ethical. In order to be a member, the brand has to meet various social and ethical requirements.

Unfortunately, the brand shares little information about its production sites. This lack of information makes it difficult to evaluate the conditions under which its products are made.

Planet

Ecoalf considers the reuse of materials particularly important for the planet and therefore does a lot of research into the recycling possibilities of materials. The Ecoalf Foundation is constantly researching possible applications and processing of waste materials fished from the oceans. Some of this is used in the Ecoalf collection, for example recycled polyester, polyamide and nylon.

Other materials that came out of this research are ocean yarn and 0-release yarn. Ocean yarn is the name Ecoalf gives to yarns spun from plastic bottles fished from the ocean. Through collaborations with local fishermen in different countries, the Ecoalf Foundation has already collected over 1,000 tonnes of waste since 2015. The 0-release yarn is a polyester yarn developed so that the fabric does not release microfibres when it’s being washed or dried.

Ecoalf also uses many other sustainable materials in their collections. These include various natural materials, such as organic cotton, linen, Ecovero Viscose and Tencel, along with recycled sheep’s wool and cashmere.

Ecoalf also developed a fabric from coffee grounds. In collaboration with Scafé, Ecoalf was able to transform coffee grounds into granules, which when mixed with recycled polyester or nylon turn into a fabric. In addition to recycling waste, it also has several good properties such as offering better UV protection, odour control and being quick-drying.

Circular

By transforming waste into new clothes, Ecoalf is very much a circular brand. Recycling PET bottles and other polyester or nylon waste products makes for cleaner oceans and beaches. Ecoalf also needs less or no new raw materials to do this, which means these resources are less likely to be depleted.

Ecoalf's flip-flops are made from recycled tyres, eliminating the need for new rubber. Coffee grounds are transformed into new clothes. This is how Ecoalf is circular.

However, in order to be completely circular, we must consider what happens to clothes after use. Monomaterials (made from one material) are much easier to recycle than mixed materials. Natural materials, such as cotton and linen, are also more circular because they are biodegradable, creating no or less waste.

For now, Ecoalf does not provide information on whether they collect and recycle the clothes after use. As a result, their loop is, unfortunately, not yet closed.

Short chain

Ecoalf gives very little information about its production locations. Some garments are produced in Portugal and Spain, while other product pages mention that the product was made in China. It is not clear in which countries the Ecoalf collection is produced and there is certainly no information about the manufacturers the brand works with.

The Ecoalf Foundation operates in Spain, Italy, Greece and Thailand. This sub-organisation works with local fishermen to fish plastic and waste out of the ocean. This also involves a lot of research and education projects. The Ecoalf Foundation works independently of the Ecoalf fashion brand but does supply raw materials for the collections.

Animal welfare

Ecoalf is also doing well in terms of animal welfare. For all wool and cashmere, the brand opts for recycled materials. Choosing recycled wool means no animals are directly involved in the product.

Recycling wool is done mechanically, where old products or residual materials are cut up and spun into new yarn. Recycled wool unfortunately has a lower quality than new wool. Therefore, Ecoalf is committed to using production waste and developing better processing and finishing techniques. In this way, they aim to improve the quality of this material.

Longevity

Quality is important to Ecoalf. That is why they are always looking for better production techniques to improve their products. Ecoalf has a women's and men's collection. There is also a children's collection, accessories, bags, backpacks and even a collection of shoes. The designs are timeless and basic, combining perfectly with any outfit.

Transparency

On each product page, you can access a Bcome evaluation system, which gives each product a score for its environmental, social and ethical efficiency. The evaluation of this system is based on the best sustainable initiatives that Ecoalf has included in its supply chain. In these scores, you can see what distance the product has travelled, which certificates apply and how much water and CO2 was needed for production.

Beyond that, Ecoalf is unfortunately not very transparent. It often does not disclose where the product was made. The origin of the materials is not always known either. Here at COSH! we hope that the brand will shed more light on this in the future.

Want to help clean up the ocean? By wearing Ecoalf clothing, you are already doing your bit. Check out which shops sell Ecoalf below!

Where to buy Ecoalf?

Lookbook

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Ecoalf COSH FW22 boy
Ecoalf COSH FW22 girl
Ecoalf COSH SS22 woman dress
Ecoalf COSH FW22 woman sweater
Ecoalf COSH FW22 man sweater
Ecoalf COSH SS22 poloshirt
Ecoalf COSH SS20 WOMEN SUIT
Ecoalf COSH SS20 WOMEN BLUE DRESS
Ecoalf COSH SS20 WOMEN BACKPACK
Ecoalf COSH SS20 MAN WHITE TSHIRT
Ecoalf COSH SS20 MAN BLUE JACKET