The textile industry has been characterized as one of the most polluting activities, due to the waste it generates and the high consumption of water, energy and chemical reagents. The concept of “fast fashion” refers to a phenomenon of mass production and consumption that increases at the same speed at which trends are undergoing modifications. The project ADOPTAUNAPRENDA is an online shop that supports the idea that the most sustainable piece of garment is that one that already exists. I could talk with the founder Noemí Diaz Patiño about this project.
1. When and why did the idea of #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA come up?
COCLUB was born in 2015 after my personal experience working in Fashion Revolution (London), granted by the European Union. There I become aware of my own consumption of fast fashion and that of the people around me to act in my closest reality. The brand acts as a unifier of several projects that will be seeing the light, like #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA. The fundamental idea is to get more responsible and conscious consumers.
It is a project that works sustainability, mainly sustainable fashion. Normally, we stop using a garment because we lose the emotional connection with it. We get bored because our tastes change as well as trends. In #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA we try to give a second life to the garments that are in the bottom of the cupboards, forgotten; but they are in perfect condition (Sometimes with the label still on, unused) and can continue to be used. We want to make these garments recover their emotional value and elevate it to make it a factor to take into account at the time of the purchase decision. For this, we show all the clothes accompanied by their history.
2. Why do you think your project is something innovative that other companies do not offer? Do you think ADOPTA is indicative of the future of fashion?
The first thing is that we would like not to be a company, but to build a community, since we have other types of values. We try to organize clothing exchange parties and other activities every so often to meet in person and leave behind the screen. Very soon we will present another tool with which our followers can be more active with the project. At the moment, we do not design a product. Some of the items of the project have been donated directly by our community. We offer the service of free collections of the garments that you no longer use and that you want to be part of the project. All the information is in the “send your garments” section of the web. The rest of the garments have been inherited or rescued from street markets and vintage stores on our trips.
More and more consumers want to have more information about the products and the clothes they buy. They want to know with what materials it is made, where it comes from and even who has been the person who designed or made it. Some of these data are only provided by sustainable fashion brands. In addition to all the data of this type that we can give you, in #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA, we tell you the history of each of them. If you take it home, you can continue and tell us about it.
Finally, a fundamental axis of our project is the social part of it. Since our beginnings, we have collaborated with Emaús Fundación Social to whom we always donate surplus pieces of demos, pilot collections and swap parties, which we have been organizing over time. This collaboration will be reinforced and increased from #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA since for each item we sell, we will donate another.
3. What is it for you to be sustainable?
I translate the word sustainability for RESPECT. I believe that being sustainable means respecting people and the environment in many different ways.
4. What drives your passion for sustainable fashion?
See that it is increasingly present in the lives of the people around me, in the media, … I realize that more and more brands and projects are emerging that share the objective of being sustainable. All this makes me wake up every day wanting to work in COCLUB #ADOPTAUNAPRENDA
5. What is the most difficult thing to carry in sustainable business?
For me, right now, the hardest part is working alone. The work is easily accumulated since carrying a project consists of many tasks; some that I love and others that bore me too much; but they are equally necessary. sometimes, there are things that I try to work with them for weeks and it frustrates me. I think I have to be demanding with everything that comes out of this project and I dedicate a large part of my time, even weekends, to make things go well. A few days ago I was talking to some fellows who also have sustainable fashion brands in Galicia that “we are working so as not to exploit others, but in the end we often exploit ourselves.” I had not realized it until then, that’s why I’m looking for collaborators to try to solve it. If you are reading this and would really like to collaborate, write to me 😉
6. What are your best tips for others trying to lead more sustainable lives?
They have to try to be always informed, and they have to ask if they want to know more; that they are active in networks, that they watch documentaries and that they demand from the big brands more sustainable products and practices. They are the key to changing the model towards a more sustainable fashion industry.
7. Is there anyone in the world of fashion / sustainable business whom you admire?
Yeah sure! I’ll give you several names: Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Orsola de Castro (my tutor in Fashion Revolution UK), Livia Firth, Helen Kirkum, Christopher Raeburn … they all inspire me in different ways.