TALKS.png

MADRID, SPAIN
JANUARY 2022

carolina Álvarez-ossorio,
marketing director of ecoalf

What does Sustainability mean to your organization?

To us, it is a journey we must embrace, we must be responsible and be held accountable for everything that we do. At Ecoalf, we say it's not what we do, but how we do it and this should be a reflection to take into account in our life’s work and all of our decisions…

 

Are you mainly focusing on environmental Sustainability or also on Social Sustainability?

Being a BCorp brand means we put the people and the planet at the center of everything we do. We believe we have a mission that goes beyond just business. Fashion is one of the largest consumer goods industries in the world and one of the most polluting. More than ever it has to be about doing what is right and feeling good about it. At Ecoalf, we are very focused on water and CO2 emissions. On the one hand we have the commitment to becoming a NetZero brand by 2030, and on the other, we have our Upcycling the Oceans project with Ecoalf Foundation, so I would say we are very focused on the environment.

How do you guarantee success of your measures?

All our actions are under constant evaluation and all our decisions have to be made with the goal of causing the least harm possible to the planet and local communities. We have seen that the decisions we make that are good for the planet in the long run are also good for the business…

 

Do you have a defined purpose at your organization and is it aligned with your sustainability and communication strategy?

Absolutely, this is the core and DNA of the brand and the reason Ecoalf exists. Our strategy is to raise awareness: inspire and empower change across individuals and communities. We don't want to tell you “look, these are the horrible problems going on…” we want to show you what we can do to fix it! We believe that we are a storydoing brand, not a storytelling brand… There is a problem in the ocean and we have developed the Upcycling the Oceans project to help clean the bottom of the ocean thanks to more than 3.5K fishers!

WhatsApp Image 2022-03-15 at 10.21.43 AM.jpeg

To us, sustainability is a journey we must embrace, we must be responsible and be held accountable for everything that we do. At Ecoalf, we say it's not what we do, but how we do it and this should be a reflection to take into account in our life’s work and all our decisions…."

Is your purpose grounded in your organizational culture?

The entire Ecoalf team is convinced that the earth is facing a critical time and there is a need to take action. We are sure to be coherent with what we say and what we do, because it’s not just what we do, but how we do it.

 

How does your organization feel about transparent communication? Do you also communicate failures or only successes?

During the past 12 years, we have made substantial advances. We still have a lot to work on, but we love to be able to share our commitments, our progress, what we do, even what we would like to do better, with those that are interested. Transparency implies being able to openly discuss everything that we do, knowing that we still have a long way and many challenges in the wayahead of us.  For example, each of our products not only has features the amount of water saved or CO2 emissions reduced, but also the amount it took to make each product.

 

Do you feel that differentiating yourself through impact has brought an added value to your business and reduces risks? In what way?

We believe the time when fashion was just about looking good is over, and that consumers feel the same. The organizations we buy from are the future we are creating for ourselves and the planet. Consumers want a brand that shares their values and one that is fighting for a planet beyond the next season. This is why we integrate technology like BCOME, which serves as a tool for us internally to trace everything and measure how to improve every season. It also helps the end consumer understand the impact behind each garment (QR code on the product’s tags or on our website next to each product under the sustainability report)

WhatsApp Image 2022-03-15 at 10.22.37 AM.jpeg

Do you see a change in behavior in your consumers?

When Ecoalf began over a decade ago, many people had a negative perception of recycling materials. They believed that they were inferior in quality. However, over the years we have seen a change in the way that people see them, and now they seek items made with recycled materials. Furthermore,  people want to find products that balance their needs with those of the planet.

 

How do you integrate Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity into your organizational culture?

At Ecoalf, we are continuously seeking young talent to join the team.  As part of our culture's values, we embrace diversity, culture, encourage creativity and share the mission to work towards a better planet.  Every season, we welcome new interns from around the world to inspire us and to learn new ways of doing business and how to run it, together.

 

What are your organization’s goals for the next year in terms of sustainability?

Good question..… we have many:

1.  Water - reduce consumption in our production and material composition

2.  Co2 Emissions - as mentioned, we are committed to becominge net zero by 2030

3.  Circularity - besides using the highest-quality yarn to ensure a long life cycle, we are exploring different ways to offer a service once you don't want your garment anymore. We would love to be able to take it back, recycle it and make a new yarn to include in our collections!