More than 130 students attended the Seminar on Textile Design in the Circular Economy organised by the AITEX-UPV Chair
“Ecoalf emerged in 2009 from my frustration with the excessive use of the world’s natural resources and the amount of waste produced by the industrialised world.” This is how Javier Goyeneche, founder and president of the sustainable fashion brand ECOALF introduced himself to more than 130 students at the Universitat Politècnica de València – Campus d’Alcoi, at a presentation under the auspices of the AITEX-UPV Chair.
Goyeneche explained that “the objective is to manufacture fashion products with recycled materials of the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products. Proving that it is not necessary to continue abusing the planet’s natural resources indiscriminately” To do this, materials such as fishing nets, plastic bottles, tires, coffee grounds and industrial cotton and wool waste are recycled.
Goyeneche stressed that “for consistency, we must manufacture in the same place where we extract the waste: it would not make sense to use sustainable materials if we then transfer production to Europe, with all the environmental impact that implies”. The founder of ECOALF went on to explain that he has two clean-up projects in seas and oceans; one in Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, and another on the coast of Thailand, where volunteers collect the waste that accumulates in the sea.
During the presentation, Goyeneche showed many visual examples to raise awareness of the state of our oceans. 6.4 tons of waste end up in the sea each year, and plastic constitutes almost 90 percent of all that. The ECOALF project helps to clean the oceans and with the extracted waste, sustainable fashion is created with the same quality, design and technical properties as non-recycled products. For example, after a series of cleaning and crushing processes, plastic bottles are turned into plastic pellets which are converted into a polyester polymer that is then spun into a recycled yarn used to develop the sustainable fabrics from which clothing can be made.
The conference on textile design in the circular economy is an initiative of the AITEX-UPV Chair, whose purpose is the promotion and development of activities that contribute to raising awareness of the textile sector, both at a university level and in society in general. In this sense, the Chair aims to focus attention on the textile industry as an attractive, multi-disciplinary proposition for employment, and one with a very bright future.