We’re back with another exciting episode of Fashion Talk! This interview is all about why textile re-using is so important and beneficial for your brand, and Gonzalo co-founder of Recovo will tell us all about it by introducing us to his company’s mission and how it deals with textile reusing.
Recovo is a Spanish company that launched in July last year. They are a B2B platform for buyers and brands looking to sell and buy repurposed textiles. But let’s hear about Recovo directly from Gonzalo, who better than him can tell us all about the company’s history, how it got started, and what its mission is.
Better Magazine: What is the story behind Recovo?
Gonzalo: We founded Recovo a year ago, so we are a very young Spanish company. The idea came from me and two other colleagues, Monica and Marta, who were all already working in the fashion industry but in different areas. We all saw a significant problem with textile waste from our various perspectives in the fashion industry. Marta, for example, worked as a sourcing manager in a fashion company in Spain, and she was bothered by the fact that when sourcing textile for a collection, there is a lot of waste. It appears to be a grey area of the process; not enough people are paying attention to this issue, so we decided that now was the time to act. We wanted to create a company that could have a positive impact on the planet because the fashion industry is already overcrowded with so many industries, so we wanted to provide a positive solution, which is why we created the platform. Recovo is a business platform where you can either buy or sell leftover fabrics, giving a second life to a perfectly good material. As a result, the platform’s very mission is to connect businesses in order to make the best use of already existing material.
BM: Absolutely, I think you made a great point because we often hear about innovations and new ways of producing innovative materials in the fashion industry today, but we must be aware that there is already a lot of material on the market that can be used or re-used. Why create something new when we already have so much? But before we get into the specifics of what you do, I think it’s important to define what we are talking about when we talk about textile re-using so that people have a better understanding of what this important process entails and which are the materials that are being reused and resold.
Gonzalo: When people think about sustainability in fashion, the end consumer usually assumes that everything is about recycling, but for us, re-using begins much earlier. For many years, we only heard about recycling, which is a fantastic solution, but focusing on re-using and returning to the step of dying is also important to us, because this is where everything begins and you don’t need to get to the end product but you can prevent a lot of damage at the start of the process. Every year, more than 92 million tons of textile waste are generated; these materials end up in landfills or are burned, which is a disaster for the environment. By reusing textiles and sourcing fabrics on Recovo you will have the same experience that you would have with any other textile supplier; there are many materials from various categories that you can find in our marketplace. You can find natural fabrics that are plant-based, such as cotton, or animal-based, such as silk; you can also find monomaterials, which are made entirely of one type of fabric and are easier to recycle at the end of the product’s life. We put a lot of emphasis on making information accessible to customers: there are many filters and categories on the platform to help you find what you’re looking for (composition, color, use, size).
BM: I looked at Recovo’s website and it’s very well organized, and you can also choose the amount you want to buy. You don’t have to buy a large amount of fabric to use Recovo, so it’s also a great and accessible option for smaller brands.
Gonzalo: Yes, this is a very important point, because there are a lot of issues when smaller brands are trying to source textile for their small collections and traditional suppliers are requesting a minimum order quantity that is extremely high, so they can’t access them or they end up buying more than they actually need (and this is obviously contributing to the problem). That is why, at Recovo, we wanted to be on the side of small brands and make our service available to them, allowing them to source exactly what they need for their ideal collection without overstocking, while also being more efficient with their financial resources.
BM: We would love to know, what are your best tips for sourcing fabrics and choosing the best fabrics for your products? What advice would you give to a new brand?
Gonzalo: In my opinion, planning ahead of time your needs works really well, so creating a moodboard of what you are imagining to create is a great first stage in order to have an idea of the textures, the colors that you are looking for in your collection. In this way, you are narrowing down all of the different options to something that is getting closer and closer to what you want your end result to look like. When you’re ready to begin the sourcing process, I recommend that you always request a sample so that you can see how it looks, how it falls on the body and moves, and feel the texture on the skin. During the material selection process, my advice would be to look for durability, for fabrics that will have a long life once used, and for something that will create a product that your customers can use in the long term.
If you would like to contact Gonzalo or learn more about Recovo please go to their website or Instagram page for more information.