clothing by Bernarda Chiriboga October 16, 2020
Sustainable Ecuadorian clothing brands are giving Americans a chance to re-up on some super cozy drip.
The toxic and harmful behavior that human beings have towards the environment is no longer a question, but a fact. Countless mundane activities, like shopping, is slowly destroying our planet.
Yet, we were able to witness how changes in human behavior have a positive impact on the environment. The ozone layer started to recover; levels of harmful pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide have plummed, at least during the shutdowns.
Proving that saving the environment is, in fact, in our hands. But, environmental benefits would only be temporary unless there are permanent solutions.
As the world is slowly heading toward a “new normal,” and we embrace the new reality as re-invented, more conscious human beings it is important to change our toxic behaviors, particularly in the way we consume.
The textile industry is among the highest pollutants in the world. 20% of the water of all freshwater pollution is made by textile treatment and dyeing, and factory boilers that heat the water release nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide — all of which harm the ozone layer.
So, let’s keep this fall cool.
Learn about how Ecuador, one of the most environmentally diverse, and beautiful places on earth, has incubated top sustainable brands that are setting an example for the entire fashion industry.
After learning about the immense amount of waste that the fashion industry generates, and the catastrophic working conditions that garment workers face,
Remu’s founders saw an opportunity to make a change.
Thus, they created an outwear brand that promises to deliver high-quality, non-toxic, products. Using a circular model, the brand is committed to reduce textile waste and minimize resource depletion.
“If we are not able to find quality textiles to refurbish, we use materials made of natural, organic, or recycled fibers.”
In order to keep their processes as sustainable as possible, Remu’s denim comes from jean donations from customers or fabric scraps.
Then, each of its pieces is handcrafted by seamstresses; using the crafts and skills learned in the rural communities in Ecuador. This is part of Remu’s stand for gender equality; something that is still ingrained in various aspects of Ecuadorian clothing and society.
By providing jobs, economic opportunities, and responsible working conditions for these women, they hope to empower them to take agency of their presents and futures.
Check out Remu’s apparel here.
Further in the Andes, skilled and hard-working indigenous women leave their mark in the Ecuadorian clothing brands industry.
Allpamamas is a brand dedicated to mother nature with the desire to be fair to her in every step of the way. Its name comes from Kitchwa meaning “mother earth.”
Thus, working collaboratively with indigenous women of the region has allowed them to bring a brand that genuinely represents Latin America’s culture through textiles that are made by people who understand not only the land but its nature and spirit.
Their end goal is to elevate consciousness through fashion.
“Learning about the different artisan techniques, I realized that it is possible to be a well rounded, sustainable brand that is beneficial to the community without losing any commercial opportunity,” said Vanessa Alarcon, Allpamamas co-founder.
Thus, they have successfully followed fair sustainable measures for every single one of their processes.
From working with natural fibers that are biodegradable and natural dies, striving to be as close to zero waste as possible. To provide fair and responsible job opportunities to underrepresented minorities; bringing indigenous women to the contemporary fashion world. An industry that, for long, has been extremely exploitative of its workers.
Allpamamas is committed to delivering truly transformative clothing that carries the essence and energy from which its products were made.
“It is not just a fashion brand, its a project that transforms both the people we work with and our clients.”
Their latest collection speaks of spirituality and its individual meaning without categorizing believes in specific religions. Thus, each of their creating begins with storytelling that it later brought to narratives printed on their garments.
Check out Allpamamas’ apparel here.
And perhaps there is no better way to know the quality of the clothes we wear than through its durability. And that is why Hera Studio, another Ecuadorian clothing brand, commits itself to create atemporal pieces that would last a lifetime.
Hera mainly focuses on the material and silhouettes of their garments. They are experts in the craftmanship of natural fibers such as wool, linen, hemp, organic cotton.
And naturally, dye most of their products with beetroot, cochineal, red cabbage, turmeric, logwood, anatto seeds, and avocado seeds. However, they mostly source vintage textiles from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s in perfect conditions — using the past to make the present even more relevant.
“We seek to create garments that tell stories through their materials. And we are always experimenting and exploring new dyes that are not toxic to the planet, for us the colors of nature are the most beautiful.“
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But, what makes Hera so authentic and unique is the Ecuadorian clothing brand’s designer, Isabel Perez.
After being architecturally trained, she discovered further ways to balance aesthetics with consciousness through fashion. This made way for Hera to take, into consideration, volume, proportions, forms, and colors. She draws inspiration from architects such as Lina Bo Bardi or Ricardo Bofill.
“I don’t even draw the garment. I draw textures and write about the person that will wear that piece.”
Her latest collaboration with Ecuadorian designer, Sara Rekalde, combines both natural dyes and vintage textiles. Inspired by a rusty pink, vintage velvet, the collection conveys fresh and romantic styles with classic designs and promotes ethical fashion.
It is comprised of clean, architectural cuts and oversized volumes representing each of the designer’s styles.
Check out Hera Studio’s apparel here.