Born from the desire to create a truly sustainable brand, Ecoalf places the environment at the core of everything they do.
Based in: Madrid, Spain
Product offering: Women's and mens clothing, footwear and accessories
Where to buy: Stores in Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, and Barcelona, and online
Materials: Premium recycled materials
Certifications: B Corp certified
Price Range: €€
My picks: Since moving to Europe, Ecoalf has become one of my favourite brands, owing not only to their ethical and sustainable credentials, but their products timeless, and minimal design. A perfect example, and my new wardrobe favourite, the 100% recycled polyester Marangu Jacket in black, which is perfect for winter here in Munich.
Keep scrolling to find out why this brands gets two big thumbs up from me.
Materials: Since the brands inception in 2009, Ecoalf have wanted to change the way in which natural resources are utilised. They have certainly achieved this through the incorporation of the following recycled materials into their products:
Recycled polyester: The benefits of using recycled polyester include consuming less water, energy and reducing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, recycled polyester can be recycled again (within limits). Ecoalf utilises different types of recycled polyester, deriving from both post consumer waste (e.g. from plastic bottles, the sea, and garments), and post industrial waste (e.g. from garments also). N.B. I hope to unpick recycled polyester in an upcoming Fibre Focus. Stay tuned!
Recycled nylon: Recycled nylon has the advantage of reducing CO2 emissions and water usage as less processing is required compared to conventional nylon. Additionally, recycled nylon can be recycled again. Ecoalf utilises the nylon from fishing nets (partnering with ECONLYL®) and also leftovers from production to create their recycled nylon material.
Recycled cotton: Cotton is a natural fibre, but it still has its downsides. From extensive water and land use (just google The Aral Sea), to pesticide use. Ecoalf is working towards perfecting their recycled cotton that is derived from post industrial waste.
Recycled wool: Wool is a natural fibre, but it too presents some ethical and environmental issues (see my post 'A Wool Debate' to find our more). Therefore, the utilisation of recycled wool is a better option. However, as it goes through mechanical processing, it can be of a lesser quality to virgin wool.
Recycled tyres: The rubber from tyres is extracted and is made into a powder that can be converted under pressure into thongs. A downside? Rubber cannot be dyed.
Coffee?!: I found it super interesting to read that coffee grounds were being processed and then combined with fabrics, contributing fast drying properties, UV protection and odour control.
Ecoalf also incorporate a number of low impact materials, including:
Man-made Cellulosic (MMC) and wood-based fibres (e.g. viscose or lyocell) that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Cupro, a regenerated cellulosic fabric that utilises the waste from cotton.
Linen, a natural fibre made from the stalks of the flax plant. Take a read of 'Label Love: Linen' to find out more about this wonderful fibre.
Hemp, a plant-based fibre that is extracted from the stem of the hemp plant.
Organic cotton, certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
Because there is no planet B: Climate change is making sure of that, and we know that the fashion industry is a big contributor to the crisis. But Ecoalf is certainly making an effort to do their bit.
10% of every item sold from their BECAUSE THERE IS NO PLANET B® range is donated to the ECOALF Foundation, which supports the Upcycling the Oceans initiative. This initiative, which started in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, before spreading to the oceans of Greece, Italy and Thailand, reinforces Ecoalf's commitment to the planet, and circularity. Working with the fishing industry, Ecoalf is helping to keep our oceans clean, and removing marine waste, ultimately giving it a second life.
Innovation: From the creation of flip flops (or thongs as they are called in Australia) that are made from 100% recycled tyres and that require no glue, to equipping their products with QR-based smart tags that once scanned provide information regarding manufacturing and sourcing.
B Corp Certified: In 2018, Ecoalf became the first Spanish clothing company to receive a B Corporation certification. What is a B Corp company? It essentially means that they are committed to one unifying goal of using business as a force for good, taking into account the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. B Corp certified business meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Their commitment to the environment, is further reinforced by their "Good" Good on You rating.
Planet 5/5: Their "Great" rating when it comes to the planet can be attributed to their use of eco-friendly materials that are predominantly recycled, and their recycled packaging, which I can personally vouch for (there was no sign of plastic when my order arrived).
People 3/5: Socially, the brand received a rating of "It's a start". While they audit their final stage of production and trace most of their supply chain, there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the payment of a living wage.
Animals 4/5: Their rating of "Good" when it comes to animals stems from the absence of fur, leather, animal skins or hair in their product offering. They also use recycled wool and down.
N.B. While I don't take Good on You ratings as gospel, I do find their app a good place to start when researching brands, and deciphering whether they may align with my values.
Ecoalf's clothing and accessories are functional, minimal, and timeless, meaning they will hang around in your wardrobe for years to come.
Please get in touch or leave me a comment. I would love to know what your ethical and sustainable brand recommendations are.
Thanks for reading.
‘Fashion + Psychology’ is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.