ECOALF is an inspirational shop in Madrid which showcases an incredible range of clothes, bags and accessories made from upcycled materials. The pieces are little more pricey than your average jacket from a high street store, but they are of a superior quality, are focused on durable and pioneering design, and have a mission: to upcycle the oceans. Who can deny that!
ECOALF are a Spanish company created in 2012, whose aim was to create a line of clothing that was truly sustainable. And this means not using materials sucked from our planet (as they point out, because we are currently using 5 x the resources that our planet is capable of producing). Whoa!
With this in mind, the only solution was to create a new generation of products made from recyclable materials. However, they soon found that there weren’t enough of these materials available for them to buy, due to the scarcity and low quality of the materials on the market.
So, they did what anyone else with a dream does; they kept going. They created alliances with different companies across the globe who have access to the mediterrean seas and successfully set-up partnerships to collect fishing nets, plastic bottles and used tires to magically transform them into upcycled clothing. They collect 1 tonne of trash from the sea everyday, which would otherwise float around for yearsm decades. What you see in the shop is the result of a long, hard process; a dream coverted into super cool jackets, gilets, rucksacks, laptop cases and shoes.
Apart from their inspirational story, the thing that I love about ECOALF is their absolute dedication to design, not fashion. Their approach is based on a different kind of vision to that of a highstreet shop. If you try on a jacket you will see that only does it fit you, but perhaps it has an ever so slightly different length; maybe the pocket height or width looks familiar but different somehow; maybe the central fit is slightly wider but it looks so good you wonder why no other jackets have that shape; perhaps the fastening is new but it seems to work better than on any of your other jackets. The innovations are not avantguarde enough to feel foreign, but are just enough to make the whole experience visually and functionally pleasing. All you know is that it looks good, and you don’t know why!
Add to this a range of organic and regenerated cotton sweatshirts and tshirts, in blues, greys and burgandy colours, and you have a winner!
So, next time something you own wears out and you need to buy a comfy winter or light summer jacket, travel or study rucksack, sweatshirt, gym bag or shoes, try visiting Eco Alf. Not only are the products so beautifully made and of such a high quality, but you’ll own something that has a story and will last you for a lifetime (can you tell I’m a fan!)
Calle Hortaleza, 116
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Watch this video to learn more and see ECOALF collecting the materials from the seas:
You can see the founder of ECOALF, Javier Goyeneche, speaking at a TED talk in Spanish, here: